Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: AP
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: AP

India asks Facebook how it shares user data with mobile phone companies

The IT ministry has sought an explanation from Facebook by 20 June on the data sharing agreements it has with mobile phone companies

New Delhi: The ministry of electronics and information technology on Thursday sought an explanation from Facebook Inc. by 20 June on the data sharing agreements it has with manufacturers of phones and other devices.

The move comes after several reports alleged that Facebook has agreements that allow phone and other device manufacturers access to personal information of users, including their friends list, without their explicit consent.

“Such reports raise uncomfortable questions about the assurances made by Facebook," the ministry said. “Therefore, the ministry has sought an explanation from Facebook seeking a detailed factual report on the issue."

Earlier in March, the government had sought responses from the social media giant on queries regarding Indian data on its platform. Facebook had apologised and had “given strong assurances to the government that it would make sincere efforts to protect the privacy of users’ data on the platform", according to the ministry.

On Tuesday, Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that he saw “a serious danger" that Facebook shared user information with Chinese device makers, according to a report by Bloomberg.

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