Facebook's been at it for years, the naughty scamps. They've been quietly collecting data taken from Android user's phone calls and text messages, according to a new report from Ars Technica.
I just read about this one Kiwi fella who downloaded his profile data from the site and discovered his download included his Facebook profile information, as well as two years of phone records.
But what you probably don't realise is that Facebook actually asks for permission to use that data. It's part of the way the platform fills the "People You May Know" feature—by accessing users' phone contact data.
You can download your Facebook data by going to your Facebook account's 'Settings' > 'General Account Settings' > 'Download a Copy of Your Facebook Data.'
To turn off Facebook Messenger's access to phone contacts:
- From Home, tapyour profile picture in the top right corner
- Synced Contacts to turn this setting on or off
For iPhone or iPad:
- From Home, tap yourprofile picture in the top left corner
- Tap Synced Contactsto turn this setting on or off
Facebook has stressed that the company does not sell contact data. The site also underscored the fact that it does not log content of user's text messages or phone calls.
Many users find that hard to believe or no longer trust Facebook.
Zuckerberg recently took out adds in major U.S. and U.K. publications, apologizing for the data collection and promising "to do better" for users.
He added that Facebook has "a responsibility to protect your information. If we can't, we don't deserve it."
More than a few users agree, and won't be logging back into their accounts anytime soon. If, like me, you're a sucker for cat memes and laughing at other people's babies falling flat on their faces, then follow the above instructions. We've got your back on this here radio show you know!