Facebook also shares user data with Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL

Facebook has confirmed that it is also sharing user data with Chinese companies Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL, after it was revealed earlier this week that it is doing the same with other major companies. The company is ending its agreement with Huawei this week.

The New York Times reports that the agreements have existed between Facebook and the Chinese companies since at least 2010. The newspaper also writes that it concerns at least these four companies and thus suggests that there may be more similarities. Facebook has confirmed data sharing with the companies now named. These remain in effect, although the US company has pledged to let the agreement with Huawei come to an end this week.

According to Facebook, the companies had access similar to that of Blackberry, which the newspaper reported earlier this week. For example, it was possible for the companies to request information about users of their devices, including information about their friends. This involved data such as religious and political beliefs, and the history of work and education. Facebook says Huawei used the access, for example, to set up a social phone app, where users could view posts from various social media.

Facebook further states that the information was stored on the devices themselves and not on Huawei’s servers, for example. A vice president of the company said: “All Facebook integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and TCL were monitored from the start, and Facebook approved everything that was built.” The issue is particularly sensitive in the US, as US intelligence agencies said earlier this year that acquiring products from the Chinese giant carries risks.

Earlier this week, Facebook confirmed that it has shared data with more than 60 hardware manufacturers via certain APIs over the past ten years, but that the access was “to help people use Facebook in a user-friendly way.” The company also said it has strictly enforced the use of the APIs.