Social media giant Facebook has said that it shared data of its users with around 52 firms, including several Chinese firms in data-sharing partnerships with mobile phone manufacturers that gave them access to details about their users and even their friends. The Menlo Park, California-based firm admitted this as part of a 700 page document that was handed over to the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee last week, reports Mint.
The new revelation gives a new direction to the social media platform after the data leak scandal involving British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica left data of 87 million users at risk of being compromised.
Among the firms that had access to data are American firms Apple and Amazon, Canadian phone manufacturer BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion), South Korean manufacturer Samsung and four Chinese manufacturers – Lenovo, Oppo, TCL and Huawei – that have been flagged as threats to national security by the United States intelligence community.
People went online using a wide variety of text-only phones, feature phones, and early smartphones with varying capabilities. In that environment, the demand for internet services like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube outpaced our industry’s ability to build versions of our services that worked on every phone and operating system.A written statement from Facebook
Facebook has said that it had terminated agreements with 38 out of 52 companies and the remaining would be ended soon. It said that the partnerships were established to “improve” integration and social experiences across devices.
The United States House committee’s Democrat Representative Frank Pallone however said that Facebook’s responses raised more questions than they answered.
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