At a crucial time in human history when privacy settings prove not to be enough to ward off inquisitions from social networking sites, testimonials seem important. On Wednesday, June 6, 2018, Huawei a Chinese phone maker stated that it has never engaged in the collection or storage of Facebook user data, in spite of an acknowledgement from the social media tycoon with a 1.45 billion daily user record that they had shared such data with Huawei and other manufacturers.
The said company has been marked as a national security threat by United States intelligence agencies and was the most recent registered device manufacturer which found itself in the midst of allegations regarding Facebook’s policy of dealing with private user data. Among other Chinese firms, popular names in handset making like Lenovo, Oppo, and TCL were allowed to access such classified information in a “controlled” yet approved way by Facebook, as testified by Francisco Varela, the company’s Vice President of mobile partnerships.
Given the interest from Congress, we wanted to make clear that all the information from these integrations with Huawei was stored on the device, not on Huawei’s servers. – Francisco Varela on Tuesday June 5, 2018
New York Times had recently published a detailed report on how Facebook has sanctioned access of users’ friends’ data including work history, relationship status and likes on device users to device manufacturing companies without any prior established consent from the exploited party. The statement of Varela came shortly after the publication of the same.
Following this, The Times concluded that firms such as Huawei have long been labelled as a national security threat by the Congress and that Facebook has confirmed its termination of data partnership with the firm by the end of the week. On the other hand, Huawei has asserted that cooperation with Facebook which was solely on the basis of improvement of user services.
Like all leading smartphone providers, Huawei worked with Facebook to make Facebook’s services more convenient for users Huawei “has never collected or stored any Facebook user data. – Joe Kelly, Huawei spokesman
Responding to the reports, Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has voiced legitimate concerns regarding the mechanisms followed to ensure that user data was in fact, not transferred to Chinese servers.
A “fair, transparent, open and friendly environment for Chinese companies’ operation and investment” was demanded by Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, who refused to comment on the issue otherwise. This might have been in response to the ban of Huawei and ZTE phones on military bases in May by the Pentagon, a few months after AT&T dropped a deal to sell a new Huawei smartphone.
Particularly since the inception of Trump administration and the impending U.S.-China tensions raging from a wide array of subjects not necessarily limited to business collaborations, Huawei, and its Shenzen-based adversary, ZTE has been under U.S. scrutiny, which was not so stringent a few years back.
The Chinese military officer, Ren Zhengfei, the Founder of the company presently under U.S. radar, however, has repeatedly denied that the products churned out by the firm is a security risk, despite growing into the world’s largest telecom equipment provider and leading phone manufacturer, ranking right after the likes of Apple and Samsung.