Reports reveal that for the past 10 years Facebook has had a data sharing agreement with device manufacturer Huawei.
The shocker isn’t that. The shocking fact is that the social media giant purportedly had similar data sharing agreements with almost 60 device manufacturers including Microsoft.
Huawei is already under the US government scanner because in the past it’s been alleged that company was secretly siphoning off personal data from millions of user devices to capital Beijing.
The new revelations have worried US government and top agencies who are scrambling to wrap their heads around the far reaching effects of the discovery.
Facebook admitted that it had agreements with data sharing with 60 device manufacturers and allegedly these phone manufacturers could also tap into information that users were sharing with their friends without their consent.
This dwarves the Cambridge Analytica scandal in comparison.
Facebook also reported the deal with Huawei is about to end and would only extend to the end of the week.
However, the implications are far reaching.
The Blackberry hub app could see data on user’s friends including but not limited to their religious views, political affinity and other such deeply personal information.
Way back in 2012, US security agencies named Huawei and ZTE as serious threats to national security. Huawei allegedly also had connections to Iran and is currently under investigation for the same.
Reports surrounding Cambridge Analytica have shown that once data was handed over the company Facebook kept no overseers to see how that data was being used. Similar laxity could be the norm with every company including Huawei and there’s some substance to doubts raised by the government and agencies over that.
Facebook has maintained that its not aware of any abuse of the data by any company and data sharing agreements continue unabated.
We’ll look how these investigations turn out and as of now it doesn’t seem that there’s going to be anything more than mere grilling. The Congress hasn’t passed any new legislation to curb Facebook’s antics and the only law with some teeth is the GDPR regulation introduced by EU member nations.
However uncertainty looms large over that as well.