Facebook's long-standing agreements, which led it to share users' data with device makers, included Chinese phone-maker Huawei -- a company the U.S. government has long been suspicious of, and which intelligence officials view as a security threat.
The social media company also made data-sharing deals with other Chinese companies, including Lenovo, Oppo and TCL, the New York Times reports. They're among the roughly 60 companies for which Facebook says it built private software — giving them special access to users' data so that their devices could mimic Facebook's online tools.
Huawei says it hasn't misused the access, sending NPR a statement on Wednesday saying, "Like all leading smartphone providers, Huawei worked with Facebook to make Facebook's services more convenient for users. Huawei has never collected or stored any Facebook user data."
In all of the data-sharing deals, Facebook built private APIs — application programming interfaces — to link the devices to user profiles and other personal information. Earlier this week, a Facebook executive said the company had "controlled them tightly."
Defending itself from accusations that its data-sharing had gone too far, Facebook on Monday said, "We are not aware of any abuse by these companies." It also noted that some of the arrangements dated from more than 10 years ago, when smartphones were just emerging and the market for apps was still small and fragmented.