Such reports raise uncomfortable questions about the assurances made by Facebook, the government said.

Govt seeks explanation from Facebook on data sharing asks it to respond by June 20
Atom Data Privacy Friday, June 08, 2018 - 10:58

The Indian government has asked social networking major Facebook to explain reports that it had allowed phone and other device manufacturers access to its users' personal information, including that of their friends without taking their explicit consent.

"The government of India is deeply concerned about reports of such lapses and violations," a statement issued by the IT Ministry said on Thursday.

"In response to earlier notices about breaches of personal data relating to the Cambridge Analytica episode, Facebook had apologised and given strong assurances to the government of India that they would take sincere efforts to protect the privacy of users' data on the platform," it said.

However, such reports raise uncomfortable questions about the assurances made by Facebook, the government said.

"Therefore, the Ministry of Electronics and IT has sought an explanation from Facebook seeking a detailed factual report... Facebook has been asked to respond by June 20," it added.

Earlier this week, Facebook admitted that it shared user data with Chinese technology company Huawei, along with three other China-based smartphone makers Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.

According to a report in Financial Times on Tuesday, Francisco Varela, vice president of Mobile Partnerships at Facebook, said that many technology companies have worked with Huawei.

"Facebook's integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO and TCL were controlled from the get-go -- and we approved the Facebook experiences these companies built," Varela said in a statement.

"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," the Facebook executive added.

The Facebook confirmation came a day after The New York Times reported that the social media giant provided access to users' data to at least 60 different device makers -- including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and BlackBerry.

With IANS inputs

Also read: Privacy issues at Facebook may further delay official launch of WhatsApp Pay

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