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BREAKING: Foreign Firm Flagged By US Intelligence Got YOUR User Data For Horrifying Reason

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Facebook user engagement has been in a freefall downward slide leaving the company scrambling to figure out new methods for boosting its user engagement since it came under fire for the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Zero Hedge reported on Facebook’s recent “dirty trick” for trying to boost its user engagement numbers – using phone numbers provided for two-factor authentication to send users data they can “engage with” but didn’t sign up for receiving via text message. They told “the story of Gabriel Lewis, who tweeted that Facebook texted “spam” to the phone number he submitted for the purposes of 2-factor authentication. And no, he insists he did not have mobile notifications turned on.

What’s more, when he replied “stop” and “DO NOT TEXT ME,” he says those messages showed up on his Facebook wall.”

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Now in the latest bombshell revelation, we find that Facebook has also provided unrestricted access to user data to at least four Chinese electronics companies, including government-linked telecom giant Huawei.

These relationships were discovered and revealed as a part of a data sharing partnership program which included a minimum of 60 major device manufacturers, including but not limited to Apple, Amazon, Blackberry, Microsoft and Samsung. This data sharing partnership allowed these companies to integrate various Facebook features into their operating systems, thus giving them access to user data and that of the data of the users’ friends and family without their knowledge or consent.

Of particular concern is Huawei as lawmakers in Congress and top intelligence officials have previously raised red flags over whether or not the Chinese government might be able to demand access to data stored on Huawei devices or servers. Naturally, Huawei denies any such claims, yet the Pentagon chose to take definitive action and ban the sales of Huawei smartphones on U.S. military bases stemming from such concerns.

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According to the Washington Post – Facebook data was only ever stored on Huawei servers, only directly on devices. WaPo notes – “A spokesman for Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Facebook late Tuesday confirmed that it had worked with Huawei, as well as three other Chinese firms, Lenovo, OPPO, and TCL. Facebook said those arrangements were “controlled from the get-go — and we approved the Facebook experiences these companies built.

Facebook’s statement followed a day of silence about its relationships with Chinese firms, which drew a sharp rebuke from Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va). Warner said in a statement Tuesday that Facebook’s relationships with Huawei and TCL raise ‘legitimate concerns, and I look forward to learning more about how Facebook ensured that information about their users was not sent to Chinese servers.'”

Amid the fallout from this most recent discovery, Facebook claims they plan to wind down their relationship with Huawei by the end of the week.

According to a New York Times report from Sunday evening, the data-sharing agreement allowed manufacturers to access information on relationship status, calendar events, political affiliations, and religion, among other things.

An Apple spokesman further revealed that the company relied on its private access to Facebook data to allow users to post on the social network without opening the Facebook app itself. This allowed manufacturers to access the data of users’ friends and family without their explicit consent.  This is all in spite of Facebook insisting to all and sundry that they would not and had not allowed outside companies to access user data.

The NYT reports – “Facebook’s view that the device makers are not outsiders lets the partners go even further, The Times found: They can obtain data about a user’s Facebook friends, even those who have denied Facebook permission to share information with any third parties.

In interviews, several former Facebook software engineers and security experts said they were surprised at the ability to override sharing restrictions.”

Despite significant public outcry and even Congressional interviews and the supposed winding down of these partnerships up to and including the posting capabilities used by Apple, Facebook continues to defend the data-sharing agreements.  They claim the data sharing agreements are in full compliance with the company’s privacy policies, as well as in compliance with a 2011 consent decree issued by the FTC.

Facebook officials claim they do not currently know of any cases where user information has been misused. “These partnerships work very differently from the way in which app developers use our platform,” said Ime Archibong, a Facebook vice president. Unlike developers that provide games and services to Facebook users, the device partners can use Facebook data only to provide versions of “the Facebook experience,” the officials said.

“These contracts and partnerships are entirely consistent with Facebook’s F.T.C. consent decree,” said Archibong.

Yet it seems former FTC official Jessica Rich fully disagrees with Facebook’s assessment of the situation, stating – “Under Facebook’s interpretation, the exception swallows the rule. They could argue that any sharing of data with third parties is part of the Facebook experience. And this is not at all how the public interpreted their 2014 announcement that they would limit third-party app access to friend data.”

Rich is now currently employed by the Consumers Union since leaving her position with the FTC.

The NYT further discovered that because Facebook does not consider the device makers to be outsiders, the data sharing partnerships go even a step further, allowing these companies to access user data of a Facebook user’s friends and family, even if they have previously denied Facebook permission to share their personal information with third parties.

Zero Hedge reports of this additional breach discovery – “The discovery of the manufacturer data-sharing agreements comes on the heels of a massive data harvesting scandal in which the social media giant allowed third-party apps to gather massive quantities of user information for various political and marketing purposes. In March, political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was revealed to have misused the private information of tens of millions of Facebook users.  The Cambridge Analytica ordeal shed light on the pervasive collection of data which has come under growing scrutiny since the scandal began in March.

Facebook’s partnerships with device manufacturers may prove to be a headache for the social media giant, as the Federal Trade Commission is already investigating the company for a string of privacy mishaps – which could at minimum result in significant fines if the agency finds further violations of consumer privacy.”

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Former Facebook Security Chief Just Blindsided Google CEO With Earth Shattering Claim

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Many have been critical of Google’s plan to launch a censored search engine in China, now a former Facebook executive has called out Google’s CEO for lying about the company’s motives.
Facebook’s former security chief Alex Stamos took to Twitter recently to attack Google CEO Sundar Pichai for his comments defending the company’s decision to move into the China market with its censored search engine known as “Project Dragonfly,” Silicon Beat reports.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Pichai stated that Google was “committed to serving users in China” and compared Chinese censorship laws to the “right to be forgotten” law in the European Union. Pichai received severe criticism for this comparison, both internally and from those outside of Google.

“Tech companies constantly walk a difficult path between complying with local law and protecting human rights,” Stamos tweeted Thursday. “For Sundar to compare the “right to be forgotten” (which I agree is problematic) with censorship in China is, at best, amoral and mendacious.”

Stamos further added that: “China’s censorship regime is a tool to maintain the absolute control of the party-state and is in no way comparable,” to the right to be forgotten law.

Google software engineer Colin McMillen tweeted: “It is extremely bad that Sundar appears to either think that RTBF is morally equivalent to government surveillance & censorship, or that he appears to think that nobody will notice this analogy is extremely inaccurate.”

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WATCH: Entire Eagles Offense Does Incredible Gesture For Veterans- Kaepernick Probably Pissed

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The Eagles offense struggled on Sunday night, and put up their fair share of bad plays. However, their celebration game was definitely on point.

The defending Super Bowl champs hosted the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Which, also happened to be on Veterans Day. While the first part of the game brought forth precious little in terms of offensive output. The second half saw a burst of scoring from both teams and, a salute to our veterans from the entire Eagles offense:

The NFL has certainly done its fair share of damage in tarnishing the celebration of our flag, anthem, and military, by protesting during the national anthem. However, with those protests having all but disappeared, it would be good for the NFL to work towards resuming its former place as the primary celebrators of our flag and country, in American sports.

Sunday night was a good start.

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