Just when we thought Facebook had hit rock bottom, it finds itself on another level of low. I’m sure you remember the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica fiasco that we told you about a few months ago. That’s when the analytics firm acquired more than 87 million Facebook users’ data and allegedly used it to influence the 2016 election.
Then, earlier this week we learned that the social media giant gave dozens of gadget manufacturers access to its users’ data. Companies on the list include Amazon, Apple and Samsung.
As if breaching its users’ trust once again isn’t bad enough, the story just got significantly worse. Facebook just admitted to sharing users’ data with a Chinese company that is considered a national security threat.
Has Facebook lost all credibility?
After being pressed by a U.S. senator earlier this week, Facebook fessed up to the fact that it’s had a data-sharing partnership with four Chinese gadget makers. According to Facebook, the partnership was made so manufacturers could give their users a Facebook-like experience.
The problem is, one of the Chinese companies Facebook has partnered with is Huawei (pronounced Wow Way).
During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in February, six top U.S. intelligence officials advised Americans not to use products or services from Huawei. Those providing the warning included the heads of the CIA, FBI and NSA. They also recommended private citizens to stay away from products made by another Chinese company, ZTE.
FBI Director Chris Wray said, “We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.
“That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”
U.S. intelligence officials are worried that Huawei is helping the Chinese government with a spying program. So much so that Huawei is being blocked from receiving any U.S. government contracts.
Here come the denials
Huawei, of course, denies the allegations of having any involvement with the Chinese government. It released a statement claiming that it poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any other Information and Communications Technology vendor.
Facebook also denies any wrongdoing with these partnerships. Its vice president of mobile partnerships said, “Huawei is the third largest mobile manufacturer globally and its devices are used by people all around the world, including the U.S. Facebook, along with many other U.S. tech companies have worked with them and other Chinese manufacturers to integrate their services onto these phones.”
Despite the denials, this situation will be further investigated by congress. Senator Mark Warner told The New York Times that he looks forward to “learning more about how Facebook ensured that information about their users was not sent to Chinese servers.” We’ll have to wait and see how this all shakes out.
If you’re tired of all the shenanigans, maybe it’s time to delete your Facebook account. Click here to learn how to delete it once and for all.
Have a question about Facebook or anything tech related? Kim has your answer! Click here to send Kim a question.
Listen to Kim’s free Komando on Demand podcast on Facebook’s privacy scandal
Facebook’s scandal gets worse as more details emerge about how they tracked you like you never knew before. In her podcast, Kim talks to some of the leading technology and data breach attorneys, John Yanchunis and Steven Teppler, about what’s in store for Facebook and also what we can do to protect ourselves in this age of dwindling privacy. It’s become clear that your information is the currency of the 21st century. Have we lost trust in Facebook?
Help protect your data with these 5 gadgets that keep criminals from stealing your information
Cybercriminals trying to hack our information aren’t the only ones we need to worry about. There are also old-fashioned criminals out there, rummaging through our trash looking for sensitive data, or even worse, breaking into our homes to get their hands on it. With so many threats lurking, you might feel overwhelmed at the prospect of protecting your information. You don’t have to go it alone though, there are plenty of items to add to your repertoire to help.