China’s Huawei says it hasn’t collected Facebook user data
07 Jun 2018

AP — Chinese phone maker Huawei said Wednesday it has never collected or stored Facebook user data, after the social media giant acknowledged it shared such data with Huawei and other manufacturers.

Huawei, a company flagged by U.S. intelligence officials as a national security threat, was the latest device maker at the center of a fresh wave of allegations over Facebook’s handling of private data.

Chinese firms Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL were among numerous handset makers that were given access to Facebook data in a “controlled” way approved by Facebook, according to a statement Tuesday from Francisco Varela, Facebook’s vice president of mobile partnerships.

The development marked the latest privacy gaffe for Facebook since allegations emerged in March that a Trump-affiliated political consultancy firm, Cambridge Analytica, had improperly harvested data from tens of millions of Facebook users in an effort to influence elections.

On Wednesday, the former CEO of the now-defunct firm, Alexander Nix, clashed with British lawmakers as he denied his firm was unethical.

Nix said he’s embarrassed at having been caught on camera boasting that he could entrap political figures by compromising them with bribes and Ukrainian women.

But he insisted he was entrapped by unscrupulous, undercover journalists — a claim Channel 4 News rejected. Nix added that the firm was unfairly blamed for putting Donald Trump in office, a vote that “put an incredibly huge target” on the back of his firm.

As for Facebook’s partnerships with phone makers, The New York Times has detailed how Facebook has given device makers deep access to data, including work history, relationship status and likes on device users and their friends.

In a follow-up report, the Times said the recipients of Facebook data included Huawei and other Chinese firms that have long been labeled a national security threat by Congress. Facebook said it would end its data partnership with Huawei by the end of this week.

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