1. dlalonde's Avatar
    WPCentral.com posted a link to Android Central yesterday about Facebook Messenger permissions titled "Facebook Messenger permissions: Not as scary as the stories might have you believe".

    Facebook Messenger permissions scare debunked | Android Central

    The permissions we grant on Windows Phone are mostly the same bar the whole SMS thing. So I removed the app because frankly I don't trust Facebook to tell me the truth.

    Is it scary or not? Welll, you have to be careful on either side. The fact that these permissions have to be granted in order to use the app sounds scary and it MAY not be or it may very well be.

    Facebook is implementing passive listening in their apps (one reason I'm happy Microsoft is building the Facebook app on WP). What garantees us that Facebook Messenger doesn't do that, just listening to what is around us and what we say? Well nothing. And you'll never know because you've given them permission to your microphone already. Given the fact that they are in fact going to listen to what goes on around you and the fact that they are known to lie about privacy sometimes, this isn't just a possibility that a paranoid person would consider possible.

    But the fact remains that maybe Facebook is not doing that. Maybe the permissions you grant the app are indeed innocent and that this is all just making a mountain out of a molehill.

    But then both sides must be careful in the way they interpret the information. You cannot say it's safe and you cannot say it's not. The only thing you can do is either remove the app to be sure or keep using it and trust Facebook. Either way, no one can say whether it's really safe or not except Facebook Inc.
    08-12-2014 05:25 AM
  2. David P2's Avatar
    The problem arises when FB themselves don't clearly explain when they implement new features without bothering to tell anyone until *after* they've done it, and the user can't complain about it. That's the main trust issue, they're doing stuff behind people's backs and not being up front about what they're doing. Or when they do say, it's "to better target you with advertisements", which I believe was the main reasoning behind voice recording being added to the desktop version: you're watching something on TV and with Facebook loaded on whatever device you are using, adverts magically appear in your feed depending on what it picked up. Auto-playing videos is another one - implemented for the exact same reason.
    08-12-2014 05:40 AM
  3. dlalonde's Avatar
    The problem arises when FB themselves don't clearly explain when they implement new features without bothering to tell anyone until *after* they've done it, and the user can't complain about it. That's the main trust issue, they're doing stuff behind people's backs and not being up front about what they're doing. Or when they do say, it's "to better target you with advertisements", which I believe was the main reasoning behind voice recording being added to the desktop version: you're watching something on TV and with Facebook loaded on whatever device you are using, adverts magically appear in your feed depending on what it picked up. Auto-playing videos is another one - implemented for the exact same reason.
    Indeed. And sometimes they explain it and lie. Like when they say that our private messages are not used for ads. Try looking at the ads while you talk, they are coincidently similar to the conversation you're having. And like Google it's "Take it or leave" which is a shame. (I know I know it's a free products...)
    08-12-2014 08:09 AM

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