Facebook Sharing User Data with the Chinese?

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

The practice of Facebook sharing with other companies didn’t stop at the nation’s borders.

Here’s a story about Facebook sharing user data with device companies.

But the scandal goes deeper than that. Facebook sharing with American companies is bad enough! But they also shared data with the Chinese telecom firm Huawei. The U.S. government has been concerned that Huaweii devices are vulnerable or accessible to the Chinese government. The Defense Department has even banned the sale of Huaweii products on military bases.

The Washington Post reports, “Facebook granted devices from Huawei, a Chinese telecom firm, special access to social data.

The relationship between Facebook and Huawei was one of the special agreements brokered between the social giant and device makers over the past decade that sought to make it easier for Facebook users to access site services on a wide array of technologies.

For years, lawmakers in Congress and top U.S. national security officials have raised red flags about the security of Huawei products, fearing that the Chinese government could demand access to communications stored on their devices or servers. The company has denied the charges, but the Pentagon took the rare step this year of banning sales of Huawei smartphones on U.S. military bases.

[…]

In Facebook’s eyes, the partnerships were merely an extension of services it already offered. In a blog post Monday, company executives said the arrangements were necessary in the early days of the mobile ecosystem, when not every smartphone company offered an app store.

[…]

To privacy experts, however, Facebook’s behind-the-scenes arrangements are problematic if they happened without users’ full knowledge or consent. Some seized on a report from the New York Times that found at least one of Facebook’s device partners, BlackBerry, had an older smartphone that could access Facebook data about device owners as well as their friends, and their friends’ friends, seemingly even in cases where Facebook users had barred such sharing.

Given the full-blown media panic over Russia buying Facebook ads, you would think it would be a major scandal that Facebook at least potentially made user data available to the Chinese government. While that are reporting it, they don’t seem to regard it as that important a story. Perhaps they don’t want to draw too much attention to it since if confirms the populist opinion that globalism is not in the interest of Americans.

Read the full story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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