Huawei says it ‘worked with Facebook,’ did not collect user data

Huawei says it ‘worked with Facebook,’ did not collect user data
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The Chinese electronics maker Huawei on Wednesday said that it didn’t collect or store its device users' Facebook data after Facebook announced it shared data access with the company, The Associated Press reported.

“Like all leading smartphone providers, Huawei worked with Facebook to make Facebook’s services more convenient for users,” Huawei spokesman Joe Kelly told the AP, adding that the company “has never collected or stored any Facebook user data.”

Huawei, which the U.S. had flagged as a national security threat, was one of at least four companies that Facebook had data-sharing partnerships with, The New York Times reported.

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U.S. lawmakers have for years advised American carriers to refrain from buying Huawei equipment because of the company’s close ties to the Chinese government.

Along with Lenovo, Oppo and TCL, Huawei had deals that gave the device makers access to the data of users’ friends without explicit consent.

Facebook noted that data shared with Huawei stayed on users’ phones and never went to the company’s servers.

Although the partnerships with the four companies are still in effect, Facebook will end its agreement with Huawei by the end of the week.

“Facebook along with many other US tech companies have worked with [Huawei] and other Chinese manufacturers to integrate their services onto these phones,” Francisco Varela, a Facebook vice president, said in a statement to The Hill. “Facebook's integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO and TCL were controlled from the get go — and we approved the Facebook experiences these companies built.”

“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,” he added.

The Trump administration has recently gone after Huawei and its rival, ZTE, by banning U.S. suppliers from selling to the companies, citing national security risks.