There has been an increase in chatter over the last few weeks regarding the forced implementation of Facebook Messenger. No longer were you going to be able to use the “email” or “personal message” function in Facebook on your mobile device without installing Messenger – a separate application that would be handling all of the “message” features in Facebook.
When Messenger was first rolled out and Facebook asked me to install it, I did. Didn’t think anything of it. I used it to handle the instant messaging I did with my friends on Facebook and didn’t have a care in the world. Until I heard a rumor that by installing Messenger, you gave Facebook access to your text messages on your phone. Say what?????
Messenger was uninstalled on our phones ASAP and I haven’t thought twice about it since.
Now Facebook has decided that it is MANDATORY for you to use Messenger. Here’s what greeted me this morning when I opened Facebook on my phone:
- Allows the app to change the state of network connectivity
- Allows the app to call phone numbers without your intervention. This may result in unexpected charges or calls. Malicious apps may cost you money by making calls without your confirmation.
- Allows the app to send SMS messages. This may result in unexpected charges. Malicious apps may cost you money by sending messages without your confirmation.
- Allows the app to record audio with microphone. This permission allows the app to record audio at any time without your confirmation.
- Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation.
- Allows the app to read you phone’s call log, including data about incoming and outgoing calls. This permission allows apps to save your call log data, and malicious apps may share call log data without your knowledge.
- Allows the app to read data about your contacts stored on your phone, including the frequency with which you’ve called, emailed, or communicated in other ways with specific individuals.
- Allows the app to read personal profile information stored on your device, such as your name and contact information. This means the app can identify you and may send your profile information to others.
- Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. This permission allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call.
- Allows the app to get a list of accounts known by the phone. This may include any accounts created by applications you have installed.
Take pictures and videos without my knowledge? Turn on the microphone and record audio without my knowledge?? WHAT. THE. HECK.
I’m not living in a bubble here. I understand that to offer mobile applications for “free”, there is data collection that’s involved so that my information can be leveraged to sell me more stuff. It’s not just a coincidence that I leave a comment on someone’s status about how much I love Aaron Sorkin and the next time I click on my home page, there’s an ad for “The West Wing” box set in my sidebar. I get it.
But to record MY LIFE via audio and video without my permission or consent through my phone? People what the hell are we doing? There once was a time, not that long ago, that smart phones didn’t even exist. If you needed to get a hold of someone, you actually just picked up the phone and called them. No texting. No “instant messaging”. We talked. Not typed everything. There is a convenience to it – I understand. And I use it myself. But I’m not willing to sacrifice my privacy and the privacy of my family (that aren’t online) for the sake of convenience.
I’d love to hear your thoughts? Are you currently using Facebook Messenger or are you planning to?