Facebook Has Been Accessing SMS And Call History On Android Devices For Years


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The Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data scandal have started disclosing more secrets of the tech company. More than 50 million Facebook users’ data was breached last week. Many outcomes have been seen after this scandal came out where some were suggesting to delete the Facebook accounts. Similarly, some bold steps were also taken where Elon Musk deleted Tesla and SpaceX Facebook pages.

Facebook was already under attack due to Cambridge Analytica case while another report from Ars Technica also came forward. According to the report, the tech giant has been collecting call records and SMS data from Android devices for many years. Facebook requests its users to grant several permissions from its users when they install the app. Among these permissions, there are permissions to access grant to contacts, SMS, MMS data, call history on Android devices. The company claims that it asks for this data in order to make friend recommendation algorithm more efficient. It can also distinguish between business contacts and true personal friendships.

The Messenger app is utilized for this purpose as the app can also be used an alternative to the default SMS app. Dylan McKay, Ars Technica’s reporter, downloaded the archive file of all of his Facebook data. He was surprised to know that the social website has been keeping a record of every call and text that he made from his Android device in the past year. When his tweet about the data went viral, Facebook responded in their blog post, saying,¬†We never sell this data, and this feature does not collect the content of your text messages or calls.”

The Cambridge Analytica data scandal¬†has also caught a lot more attention and UK’s Parliamentary Committee has summoned the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg, to give an explanation on how the data was leaked without the consent of the users.

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