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Facebook Messenger Collected Your Android Call History and SMS Data For Years

CyberWisdom Safe Harbor Commentary on Facebook Messenger application

A must-read story from thehackernews.com provides a little known Facebook knows a lot about you, your preferences and dislikes – it’s not surprising with their Facebook Messenger app..
However, did you know that if you have installed the Facebook Messenger application on your Android device, the company has been collecting your contacts, text messages and call log data at least until the end of last year?
Programmer Dylan McKay from New Zealand received more than 38,000 tweets at the time of writing to show how he found his data for the previous year (including full logs of incoming and outgoing calls and SMS messages) that he downloaded from Facebook. File (as a ZIP file).

Facebook has collected data from users for the past few years and even reported it in the media before, but at the time the story did not draw much attention.
Since Facebook was involved in the controversy over its data-sharing practices after the Cambridge Analytica scandal last week, McKay’s tweet became viral and now drives an endless privacy debate.
A Facebook spokesperson explained that because almost all social networking sites are designed to make it easier for users to connect with their friends and family, Facebook also uploads users’ contacts to provide the same content.
As Ars reported, in the old version of Android, when the permissions were not strict enough, the Facebook application canceled contact rights at the time of installation, allowing the company to automatically access the call and message data.
In the end, Google changed the way Android API permissions work in its API version 16, by notifying users when an application is trying to execute permissions, making them clearer and more granular.

However, developers were able to circumvent this change while Facebook continued to access call and SMS data until Google abandoned version 4.0 of the Android API in October of last year.
Even if you can view the data that the social network has collected so far, just go to Facebook Settings → Download Facebook Data Copy → Activate My Profile.
If you do not want Facebook to store or continuously upload contacts to its server, you can turn off continuous upload settings in the Messenger app. This change will also delete all your previously uploaded contacts.
Facebook users on Apple devices are more secure because iOS never allows silent access to call data.

Read more…

Facebook knows a lot about you, your likes and dislikes—it’s no surprise. But do you know, if you have installed Facebook Messenger app on your Android device, there are chances that the company had been collecting your contacts, SMS, and call history data at least until late last year. A tweet from Dylan McKay, a New Zealand-based programmer, which received more than 38,000 retweets (at the Engaging post, Read More…

thumbnail courtesy of thehackernews.com

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