Facebook admits data-sharing partnerships with handset makers, including Huawei

Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with Huawei, Lenovo and two other Chinese telecoms vendors, the social media company has admitted.

But Facebook said the deal was purely to allow smartphone users to access Facebook accounts on their devices.

The admission follows a New York Times report that said around 60 companies worldwide have similar agreements with Facebook. They include Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, HTC, Microsoft and Samsung.

The other two Chinese companies named by Facebook were OPPO and TCL.

Facebook’s VP of mobile partnerships, Francisco Varela, said: “Facebook along with many other US tech companies have worked with them and other Chinese manufacturers to integrate their services onto these phones. Facebook’s integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO and TCL were controlled from the get-go – and we approved the Facebook experiences these companies built.”

He added: “All the information from these integrations with Huawei was stored on the device, not on Huawei’s servers.”

US politicians responded to the New York Times story by expressing concern that Huawei and others could access data about Facebook users. The New York Times said that Facebook allowed device makers to have deep access to users’ personal data without their explicit consent.