Facebook admits to collecting call, text history of some users
SPOKANE, Wash. — Facebook is once again under fire for information it collects from its users.
On Monday, the tech giant acknowledged it logs the phone call and text message history of some of its users. This data collection specifically affects Android users who have either the Facebook Messenger, or Facebook Lite apps.
Facebook says users who have either of these apps are affected if they have uploaded their personal phone contacts into these apps, and have selected an “opt-in” option in their settings.
One user, Dylan McKay, tweeted a photo of the data Facebook logged from his phone. McKay said the history of that data collection goes back years.
Downloaded my facebook data as a ZIP file
Somehow it has my entire call history with my partner’s mum pic.twitter.com/CIRUguf4vD
— Dylan McKay (@dylanmckaynz) March 21, 2018
Facebook says they have this feature so Android users can more easily find their friends and family on these apps. However, the company has not explained why they take the extra step of saving the data on their servers.
To find out if Facebook has been collecting call and text data, Android users can go to the Facebook Messenger app and click on their profile, then select the “people” option. Once there, check the “Sync contacts” option; if the option is marked as “on,” the user has opted into this type of data collection.
Facebook maintains they are not collecting the actual content of those calls and/or text messages, but if a person has opted in, they are collecting data on the the people that user in calling, when they are calling them, and the length of those conversations.
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