Scary Truth about Facebook Messenger

This is important to read and understand. I can only report what I have found but can not guarantee how accurate this is. That is, none of it is unbelievable.

We are all a bit sick of having to firstly being forced to use the new messenger app and secondly sick of all the invites to use the stupid thing.

We generally use facebook on our phone more than on our laptop or computer. So at some point you will either have already installed Facebook messenger or at least been invited a number of times.

So let me try and explain what’s happening and what the implications are of using the new app.

facebook messenger
Facebook Messenger

It’s always been OPTIONAL but coming soon to your Facebook experience….it won’t be an option…it will be mandatory if you care to send messages from your phone.

Now you may think this is just another app but what you probably won’t realise is the permissions you must give to Facebook in order to use the Facebook Messenger App.

Here is a short list of the most disturbing permissions it requires and a quick explanation of what it means to you and the privacy settings on your phone.

• Change the state of network connectivity – So Facebook can change or alter your connection to the Internet or your mobile service. You’re basically giving Facebook permission to turn features on your phone on and off and without telling you.

• Call phone numbers and send SMS messages – Facebook is able to automatically send text messages to your contacts on your behalf without your consent.

• Record audio, and take pictures and videos, at any time. Yes, RECORD audio…TAKE pictures and VIDEO….AT ANY TIME!! That means that Facebook can see through your phone’s camera whenever they want.. Facebook can listen to what you’re saying via your microphone whenever they decide to.

• The privacy settings you have to accept when you install the Facebook messenger app also Facebook to read your phone’s call log, including info about incoming and outgoing calls – Who have you been calling? How long did you talk to them?

• Facebook will be able to read your contact data, including who your contacts are, how many you have, who you call and email and how often. Now Facebook will be able to read e-mails you’ve sent and take information from them to use for their own gain, be that “personalized advertisements” or if it’s for “research purposes”. I think what is more scary is the US Government getting hold of this data.

• Facebook will be able to read personal profile information stored on your device – This means all addresses, personal info, pictures or any other private info.

• Get a list of accounts known by the phone, or other apps you use– Facebook will now have a tally of all the apps you use, how often you use them and what information you keep or exchange on those apps. Probably advertise similar apps to you or more.

Having read up and investigated the permissions I have now deleted the app from my phone and don’t intend to use it ever again. I still have my Facebook app but any messages will have to be done on a computer and not on the phone.

With these kinds of privacy invasions Facebook as a simple company is pushing the boundaries of data protection. I still feel this is more for the benefits of the NSA rather than facebook themselves although Facebook will be delighted to have all this data to customise their marketing even further.

In the good old days we used to setup sudo names to protect our identity. But now with apps like Facebook which are very personal to who we are and our real friends we connect to and interact with, our real data is out there. There is no sudo name pretending to be someone else. The real you is out there for a company like Facebook and others to take full advantage of.

We have forgotten about that desire to protect our identity and we just lay down and let them invade our privacy. Or perhaps we are simply too trusting.

Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger

Perhaps this will happen anyway as many people won’t read this or think it is worth taking action. There will be petitions but who knows if it will be enough. It will have to be significant for Facebook to actually reverse their strategy. And as usual, when everything dies down (hype) they will do it anyway.

So please share this and let your friends know the dangers of the Facebook messenger app and to un-install it immediately if at all possible.

3 comments

  1. I also read the permissions that Facebook requires for you to be able to use it’s software. The permissions are not restricted to messenger but also the actual Facebook App itself.

    I tried to delete it from my HTC One but it is coded into the phones operating system and will not allow you to delete it. You can only disable it.

    The invasion of social media in to your life is a requirement now it would seem. How far the requirement to be on some form of social media in order to function correctly within the larger society remains to be seen but I do not like the general trend.

    Social media should be a choice. It shouldn’t be a requirement. How long before people are ostracized for not being an active member of a certain platform? When will it start to be considered “weird” if you are not on FB/LinkedIn etc.

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