Here is the whole Facebook controversy.
If you’re somewhat active on social media then you must have heard of the whole Facebook data privacy scandal.
Well, if you haven’t, then go to Facebook.com/settings, click on ‘Download a copy of your facebook data’ and your Facebook data will be mailed to you and you’ll be able to download the data on your computer as well as a .zip file.
Once, you unzip the file, you’ll see a file by the name of ‘contact_info.htm’ in the html folder and this is where things get pretty creepy.
Once you open the ‘contact_info.htm’ file, you’ll see all of your contacts(including their phone numbers) and if you’re an android user, you’ll probably also see your call logs. The call log is NOT the one that you made from the Messenger app. Facebook has your normal call log data, calls that you made from the normal dialer app.
So, why is Facebook only showing the call log of Android users and not iOS users?
Well it all comes down to the App Permissions. While the recent prompts make it clear, Ars Technica points out the troubling aspect that Facebook has been doing this for years, during a time when Android permissions were a lot less strict. Google changed Android permissions to make them more clear and granular, but developers could bypass this and continue accessing call and SMS data until Google deprecated the old Android API in October. It’s not yet clear if these prompts have been in place in the past.
Facebook uses phone-contact data as part of its friend recommendation algorithm. And in recent versions of the Messenger application for Android and Facebook Lite devices, a more explicit request is made to users for access to call logs and SMS logs on Android and Facebook Lite devices. But even if users didn’t give that permission to Messenger, they may have given it inadvertently for years through Facebook’s mobile apps—because of the way Android has handled permissions for accessing call logs in the past.
Thanks to Apple’s privacy controls, Facebook hasn’t been able to collect the data from iPhones.
This whole Facebook security scandal is definitely a messed up thing and Facebook has actually addressed this issue. In their official statement, Facebook said that “Call and text history logging is part of an opt-in feature for people using Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android.” which contradicts to what several users have been experiencing. Many people had deleted the app several times over the course and still found their call log data.
While data collection was technically “opt-in,” in both these cases the opt-in was the default installation mode for Facebook’s application, not a separate notification of data collection.
So, if you’re an Android user and you’re really concerned about the privacy, you should NEVER share your address book and call log data with any mobile application.
Please go through all the permissions that you give to a mobile app and then only install it.