Facebook says it has data sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese companies, including Huawei, which has come under scrutiny from U.S. intelligence on concerns of national security.
It can hardly be denied that 2018, thus far, has been something of a dramatic year for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. The social media platform, which still oversees millions of regular users on a daily basis via smartphones, PC browsers and more besides, came under considerable fire earlier this year when it emerged that a considerable slice of user data had been shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica without such details having been made publicly explicit. Facebook’s various terms, conditions and permissions set in place via their apps and other standards have protected the brand in plenty of ways – though CEO Zuckerberg has been pulled through the public media wringer for considerable months now, and if data pulled up by the New York Times this week is anything to go by, he’s unlikely to be keeping his name out of the public forum any time soon.
It’s been suggested by some sources – The New York Times leading the way – that up until 2015, when Facebook had chosen to stop allowing third parties from accessing data from your friends list, it seems certain device manufacturers will also have had access to certain data. While it appears that agreements with several different manufacturers – Samsung and Apple among them – were set up so that Facebook could be safely integrated into their devices, it is alleged that Facebook had allowed such manufacturers to access data beyond the confines of the third-party rule – potentially even allowing a brand to access data from someone’s friends on their social lists. The social network appears to be winding up such relationships with manufacturers – but it’s one particular brand which made waves in the midweek news.
Huawei – an Eastern tech giant in direct competition with the likes of Apple and Samsung on a global scale – is included in the above mix. What’s more, US intelligence – the CIA and FBI among them – have previously recommended that US citizens refrain from using Huawei products as they reportedly pose a national security threat – according to the New York Times. The data that Huawei has had access to isn’t clear – but what does this revelation mean for Facebook moving forward? While it seems that plans to tie up these manufacturer partnerships are underway, this could be another round of very serious questions that Zuckerberg et al will have to answer – right in the middle of what’s been a very dramatic year for the firm – and its users!