Facebook updated their Messenger platform, which has to be installed separately from its main app, but now the Messenger has some privacy clauses that are worrying everyone.
It’s like Facebook will monitor everything you do, and let you know they’re watching. In the Google Play Store these are the permissions that Facebook Messenger is entitled to:
- find accounts on the device
- read your own contact card
- read your contacts
- approximate location (network-based)
- precise location (GPS and network-based)
- edit your text messages (SMS or MMS)
- receive text messages (SMS)
- read your text messages (SMS or MMS)
- send SMS messages
- receive text messages (MMS)
- directly call phone numbers
- read call log
- test access to protected storage
- modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
- take pictures and videos
- record audio
Wi-Fi connection information
- view Wi-Fi connections
- Device ID & call information
- read phone status and identity
- receive data from Internet
- download files without notification
- run at startup
- prevent device from sleeping
- view network connections
- install shortcuts
- change your audio settings
- read Google service configuration
- draw over other apps
- full network access
- read sync settings
- control vibration
- change network connectivity
We were wondering, why does Facebook Messenger need to read our SMSes, and why do they need to record audio? These new permissions are raising concern about internet privacy. Just how private is the Messenger? According to some reports, most people are opting not to download the app itself and eventually are deleting the Facebook main app itself. However those who keep the main app may not be able to send messages quite as easily on their mobile devices without Facebook Messenger.
If Facebook has to restore consumer confidence right now they need to assure the public that their information is private, as is originally intended to be.
The biggest argument from people siding with Facebook is that the permissions are normal and that people need to check other apps and carefully read the permissions they are entitled to as they also have similar permission, maybe even more. Facebook itself has even given the explanation that for example the ability to read a user’s phone book is just to enable a faster connection to family and friends. (Hmmm).
That’s a heads up to everyone whenever you install an app. Read through the permissions that the app has access to. Facebook Messenger might not be the only one that knows more about you than you know yourself.