Facebook’s Messenger Watching You ? - BestCyberNews: Online News Presenter in the present world

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Facebook’s Messenger Watching You ?

The new mobile chat app that Facebook began pushing last week. But over the weekend, much more upsetting revelations surfaced about the app and they go way beyond the inconvenience of having to download a second program.

Actually read Messenger’s Android Terms of Service, you’d discover that the app which Facebook is gradually forcing users to move to this month requests a wide range of apparently invasive permissions, including the power to call phone numbers and send texts without your oversight.

Users of both the iPhone and Android versions of Facebook’s app have found the main app altered so that a second app Messenger is required to send person-to-person messages.Without the extra app, the function is removed sparking further concerns over Facebook privacy.

There are serious issues with Messenger clearly visible on Android, where apps are required to list Permissions showing what they are allowed to do.

The full list of Permissions is here:
  • Change the state of network connectivity
  • Call phone numbers and send SMS messages
  • Record audio, and take pictures and videos, at any time
  • Read your phone’s call log, including info about incoming and outgoing calls
  • Read your contact data, including who you call and email and how often
  • Read personal profile information stored on your device
  • Access the phone features of the device, like your phone number and device ID
  • Get a list of accounts known by the phone, or other apps you use.

According to one study, it would take the average person 250 hours a year to read every terms of service he encounters on the daily which justifies why fewer than one in 10 people actually read the terms in full.

In fact, our collective ignorance over this whole app permissions thing probably explains the hullabaloo over Messenger. Yes, it’s potentially “insidious,” to quote Fiorella, but so are WhatsApp, Viber, MessageMe and virtually every other popular messaging app, all of which request comparably creepy permissions. 

Protecting against apps which ask for further permissions after install is difficult. Apps built to go online update frequently, for perfectly valid security reasons – and often without alerting the users, at least not as clearly as the alerts on Android’s built-in Permissions menu.

Author Venkatesh Yalagandula Follow us Google + and Facebook and Twitter