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Global LinkUP: Facebook shared private user data with 60 device makers

June 08, 2018 · 2 min read
15 million Nigerians use Facebook

The Global Linkup is a summary roundup of important tech news curated from all around the globe. In this week’s edition, Microsoft acquires GitHub for $7.5 billion, Chinese telecoms manufacturer ZTE just got fined over $1 billion, Facebook shared user data with device manufacturers and other stories. Read on.

Microsoft acquires GitHub for $7.5 billion

Last week Friday, Business Insider first hinted at acquisition talks between Microsoft and GitHub.

On Monday,  a Bloomberg report said Microsoft had finally agreed to acquire code-repository company, GitHub for $7.5 billion in an all-stock deal equivalent to 73.8 million Microsoft shares. Currently hosting 27 million software developers working on 80 million repositories of code, GitHub is easily the biggest code -repository company in the world and the report said they admired Microsoft and preferred selling to going public.

The sale will also make co-founders Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath and PJ Hyett billionaires and largest individual shareholders in Microsoft apart from Bill Gates.

The United States fines ZTE $1 billion

An investigation by the U.S. showed Chinese telecoms equipment maker ZTE had violated trade sanctions by making illegal shipments to Iran and North Korea. ZTE had reportedly shipped telecommunications equipment to Iran and 283 shipments of microprocessors, routers and servers to North Korea.

In an agreement, ZTE agreed to pay the United States $1.19 billion in fines and punish the employees involved in breaching the sanctions.

According to a TechCrunch report, other changes made includes taking out the company’s Communist Party leader, having a $400 million escrow to pay for future penalties, allowing an American monitoring team on board to ensure compliance.

How Facebook shared user data with 60 device makers

In the heat of the data breach reports, a Sunday report by the New York Times said Facebook reached data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers, including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung, over the last decade.

This agreement gave the companies access to private user data and reportedly started way before Facebook apps were widely available on smartphones. Smartphone maker Huawei that was flagged by the U.S. was also included in this deal and Facebook says it will end the deal with Huawei by weekend.

The deals allowed Facebook to expand its reach and let device makers offer customers popular features of the social network, such as messaging, “like” buttons and address books.

Inside the messy divorce between Facebook and the founders of WhatsApp

WhatsApp co-founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum gave up $900 million and $400 million, respectively, by leaving Facebook before they were eligible for stock awards. Even though a contractual clause allowed them to force Facebook’s hand and get the stock, they were apparently fed up.

CNBC says the pair left over disagreement to include digital advertising in WhatsApp.

Victor Ekwealor

Victor Ekwealor

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tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor

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