Shortly after the numerous media reports about Facebook handing over the Trump campaign-linked Cambridge Analytica data on more than 50 million Americans, the social media giant is accused of recording call and SMS logs behind Android users’ backs for years.
The newest scandal should not come as a surprise as the U.S. tech company built its entire business model on monetizing personal data. However, the latest scandal shows just how little disregard Facebook has for its users’ privacy.
A report from Ars Technica shows that the social media behemoth had kept a record of users’ phone call logs and text messaging logs until October 2017, when it discontinued the practice.
The Ars Technica investigation cites multiple Android users that used the Facebook or Messenger app over the last years. According to the report, Facebook had tracked call and SMS metadata since Android’s beginning.
Facebook Claims It Had Android Users’ Permission
Metadata includes only information on the time of the call, names, phone numbers, and call duration. Metadata does not contain the content of the actual call or text message. For example, Facebook knows that you call your girlfriend every day, but it doesn’t know what the two of you discuss.
The problem affects only Android devices as iOS does not allow such level of privacy infringement. Facebook apologized for the mishap but insisted that it had users’ permission to store their call and SMS records.
Whenever a user gave the Facebook app permission to access contacts, Facebook started keep a record of all phone calls and text messages. Facebook is one of those apps that requests access to all parts of your phone including contacts and phone usage.
Users that no longer want to share their contact data with Facebook or other similar apps can go to the Settings app>Apps and change the Permissions for each app.
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