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Facebook's Android app wants to access your text messages

To confirm a user's phone number, it claims
Tue Jan 28 2014, 15:34

SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook's latest app update for the Android mobile operating system asks for access to your text messages.

According to Facebook's Android app permission webpage, Facebook claims that the reason it requires access to text messages is to connect phone numbers with accounts.

If you add a phone number to your account, the Facebook post explains, "This allows us to confirm your phone number automatically by finding the confirmation code that we send via text message."

Still, users are worried that, even though Facebook promises it will access their SMS data only for connecting phone numbers, it's a little too intrusive and could lead to their personal details being compromised.

Security researcher Tony Calileo was one of the first to notice the update feature.

"Like most people, I blindly clicked 'accept' when prompted for new permissions on Facebook's Android App update today (Jan 27)"

"Something caught my eye, and after I cancelled the update, I took a screenshot."

Calileo warns that users should stick with the old version, get rid of Facebook on Android, or accept that they've got access to every one of your text messages, call log, your personal contact card, the names of whatever other apps you're using.

This isn't the first time that Facebook has alarmed its users concerned about their privacy. The social network irked its users last October by removing the ability for people to remain anonymous in searches on the website.

This feature had allowed users to remain anonymous during searches, and with the most secure setting switched on users could ensure that people typing their name would not see that they had an account on the website. µ


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