Facebook Messenger recording your calls without permission?

4 August 2014

Facebook launched their Messenger service not too long ago, in a bid to muscle in on the market that WhatsApp have enjoyed so much. If you have the FB app on your phone, you were pretty much forced to download the Messenger app because Zuckerberg wouldn't let you read your inbox without it.

Most people weren't too fussed - it is just another app right?

Well, if you look in the terms and conditions, as spotted by IA there's some very dodgy looking stuff in there. Not surprising that Facebook are being shady, but it makes for grim reading.

facebook messenger

As you can see, the t&cs say that having Messenger on your phone allows Facebook to read your phone call log, read data about who you're contacting and when, and most worryingly, allows Facebook to take pictures and videos without your consent and record audio of your calls.

Of course, there's still going to be people who aren't bothered about this because they think their lives are too humdrum to warrant recording, but this is worrying. It isn't the only app that asks for permissions such as this.

Naturally, you can uninstall the app if this makes you jumpy, or at least toggle the security settings. This seems to be the permissions for the Android version of the app, with the iPhone version being slightly different.

Facebook. Looks like they're at it again.

TOPICS:   Social Media   Privacy

8 comments

  • David P.
    Well, being an app that lets you send text messages as well as messages over Facebook, and snap and send images and videos, and establish calls over wifi, those permissions are legitimately required to be able to do what it offers, so this is somewhat sensationalism.
  • Kev
    This wasn't 'spotted by IA' at all - IA just linked to a Huffington Post article from over eighteen months ago (it's dated 12th Jan 2013), so it's hardly news.
  • Eric W.
    David may have a point about the sms's, However, I'd love to see them explain why facebook would need to be using the phones camera without the users permission. Also, while they're at it, could they please explain why it would need to record through the microphone without the users permission? Furthermore, why does it need access to my phone contacts? This is CREEPY. Does nobody realize the bigger implication here? They're selling the information in our phones. Who I've called, where I've been, what I've said, even footage of me from my own phone is now available for the leisure of anyone who wants to buy it. Welcome to a scary new world. I can only hope governments around the world do their best to reign facebooks unwarranted behavior in.
  • Bogbrush
    it can record audio whilst not in calls too. bear that in mind next time you're enjoying the delights of youporn. HTH
  • Kevin
    Eric, if you don't want they to do things you have given them permission to do then maybe you shouldn't have agreed to it in the first place? Facebook isn't compulsory or indeed required for life.
  • arfurbiscuit
    Messenger has the option to allow you to take a picture to include in your message. Messenger has the option to allow you record audio to include in a message.
  • ooook
    Will there be a record of my calls? The date of each call you make and receive appears within your ongoing conversation history in Facebook Messages. The calls themselves are not recorded or saved. Facebook said https://m.facebook.com/help/www/182556111800957?refid=69
  • Abdul B.
    call record

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