One of the most alarming commentaries came from The Huffington post article, ‘The Insidiousness of Facebook Messenger’s Mobile App Terms of Service… The author highlighted the following terms of Facebook’s Messenger TOS as “the most aggressive:”
Allows the app to change the state of network connectivity
Allows the app to call phone numbers without your intervention. This may result in unexpected charges or calls. Malicious apps may cost you money by making calls without your confirmation.
Allows the app to send SMS messages. This may result in unexpected charges. Malicious apps may cost you money by sending messages without your confirmation.
Allows the app to record audio with microphone. This permission allows the app to record audio at any time without your confirmation.
Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation.
Allows the app to read you phone’s call log, including data about incoming and outgoing calls. This permission allows apps to save your call log data, and malicious apps may share call log data without your knowledge.
Allows the app to read data about your contacts stored on your phone, including the frequency with which you’ve called, emailed, or communicated in other ways with specific individuals.
Allows the app to read personal profile information stored on your device, such as your name and contact information. This means the app can identify you and may send your profile information to others.
Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. This permission allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call.
Allows the app to get a list of accounts known by the phone. This may include any accounts created by applications you have installed.
What makes one do the side-eye glare is the fact that Facebook recently announced that it would eliminate the messenger option from the Facebook mobile app, forcing users to download and install Facebook Messenger.
Is this a strong-armed tactic to ensure that users download the app and give Facebook the “permissions” they desire, especially since most will blindly accept the TOS to use the app? Living in a technological age where our privacy and personal information is always at risk and knowing that even Facebook has been accused of abusing their “access” to user information, how do you feel about these changes and will it alter how you interact with Facebook’s ever-changing platform?