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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Facebook admits sharing user data with Chinese manufacturers


According to the New York Times, Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese companies operating in the electronics field, including a manufacturer that is expected to have close relations with the Chinese government.
These agreements, which date back to at least 2010, would have given access to some user data to Huawei, a telecommunications equipment company that has been identified by the US secret services as a threat to national security, as well as Lenovo, Oppo and TCL.

These are the first four Chinese firms to be cited in this case, the companies mentioned so far being North American (Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Microsoft) or South Korean in the case of Samsung.
The agreements were part of an effort to push more mobile users onto the social network starting in 2007, before self-powered Facebook applications worked well on phones. So it was a strategy that Facebook found necessary to make the social network accessible also to mobile devices because of the weight that these partners have: "Huawei is the third largest mobile device manufacturer in the world and its devices are used all over the world, especially in the United States, "Facebook told AFP.
The agreements allowed device makers to offer certain Facebook features, such as address books, "Like" buttons, and status updates.
According to the New York Times, the agreements with Chinese companies allowed them to access detailed information about the users of the device and all their friends, including the name, religious and political trends, the CV (history of past and present jobs as well as the history of diplomas), relational status, geolocation information, events he planned to attend, etc. Clearly, as for Cambridge Analytica, for a single profile, hundreds, even thousands, others were concerned.
But Facebook does not agree with this New York Times analysis. If the social network confirms that companies are aware of Facebook user information, he insists that it is not comparable to the access that led to the controversial Cambridge Analytica.
But US lawmakers have been skeptical and have demanded more responsibility for Facebook's privacy breaches.
"It looks like Zuckerberg has been lying to Congress about whether users have" total control "over who sees our data on Facebook, said David Cicilline of Rhode Island on Twitter, the Democratic subcommittee on privacy. antitrust issues. "It has to be studied and responsible people have to be held accountable".
The report raised questions as to whether Zuckerberg misled Congress during his testimony and whether the company was in violation of the Federal Trade Commission's decree in how to obtain users' consent and how their information are shared.
The revelations are "a disturbing reminder that the expectations of technology companies for consumer protection sometimes differ from what is actually delivered," said a spokeswoman for the Energy and Trade Committee, who interviewed Zuckerberg.
Facebook said it had begun to cancel partnerships with appliance manufacturers more than a decade old. Computer hardware manufacturers have used Facebook's software tools to allow their own users to access contacts or post photos on their profiles, among other things, the company said in a blog post.
"There were no apps shops at the time and that was the only way to get our product running on their devices. We tightly controlled these [application programming interfaces] right from the start, "said Ime Archibong, vice president of Facebook's product partnerships, in an interview. "These partners have signed agreements that prevented people's Facebook information from being used for anything other than recreating similar experiences to Facebook."
European legislators have also expressed concern. Andrea Jelinek, who is in charge of the EU's data protection law police, said the regulators intended to examine the reports.
Separately, in Hamburg, Germany, the regulator of privacy, Johannes Caspa

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