FACEBOOK AND CHINA are becoming buddies as the social network has confirmed a data-sharing partnership with Chinese firms, reported The New York Times.
Following the revelation that Facebook was sharing user data with phone and hardware makers, the social network came out to say it has partnerships with at least four Chinese electronics companies.
One of those companies is Huawei, which US intelligence authorities have flagged as a potential national security threat, particularity as the hardware maker could use the data to conduct snooping on behalf of the Chinese government.
While this may be concerning for US authorities, it's also a tad ironic given China has banned Facebook use within its nation since 2009, though a lot of people use proxy servers and VPNs to get around the Great Chinese Firewall.
Facebook notes that its partnerships with Chinese and other electronics firms were "tightly controlled" and said it had been dialling them back since April as many hardware makers no longer need access to Facebook data and APIs to work the social network neatly into their devices' software.
The social network also said that such partnerships are common and not some secret back-room dealing, highlighting that it and many other US tech companies had worked with Huawei and other Chinese firms to "integrate their services onto these phones".
"Given the interest from Congress, we wanted to make clear that all the information from these integrations with Huawei was stored on the device, not on Huawei's servers," noted Francisco Varela, vice-president of mobile partnerships for Facebook.
Given Facebook is under a lot of scrutiny in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, such revelations over data-sharing partnerships and practices come as a bad time for the social network, though it seems to weather the fallout.
Regardless of the control and legitimacy of Facebook's data-sharing, there's likely to be a cohort of people who simply find the company's approach to privacy to be unacceptable or even a threat. µ
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