Industry News

Facebook’s Latest Reading List Includes Your Text and Multimedia Messages

Facebook’s latest reading list includes users’ text and multimedia messages, according to security researcher Tony Calileo. An update of the social network’s Android app seeks permission to read people’s private messages to allegedly connect phone numbers with accounts.

“Advertisements for that new Nikon camera, for instance, will sell for more money if only people interested in photography are seeing it,” Tony Calileo said. “Facebook gathers this information from pretty much everything you feed them – that’s nothing new. But now they’re able to read your text messages.”

Facebook’s Latest Reading List Includes Your Text and Multimedia MessagesThe security researcher told users they should either stick with the old version, get rid of Facebook on Android or accept that the social network has access to all their text messages, call logs, personal contact cards and the names of all the apps they installed.

Facebook began rolling out its Android app update at the end of 2013 when users complained the new permissions are intrusive and unnecessary.

“We realize some of these permissions sound scary, so we’d like to provide more info about how we use them,” Facebook said. “If you add a phone number to your account, this allows us to confirm your phone number automatically by finding the confirmation code that we send via text message.”

Other permissions allow the Android app to download files without notification, read and write contacts, read calendar events plus confidential information and even send e-mails to guests without users’ knowledge.

In October last year, users also protested when the social media company removed the ability to remain anonymous in searches over the network.

Bitdefender advises users to check out the free Clueful app designed for both Android and iOS devices. The product shows them how apps use, and possibly abuse, their personal information and privacy.

About the author


Bianca Stanescu, the fiercest warrior princess in the Bitdefender news palace, is a down-to-earth journalist, who's always on to a cybertrendy story. She's the industry news guru, who'll always keep a close eye on the AV movers and shakers and report their deeds from a fresh new perspective. Proud mother of one, she covers parental control topics, with a view to valiantly cutting a safe path for children through the Internet thicket. She likes to let words and facts speak for themselves.

1 Comment

Click here to post a comment
  • Thank you for the heads up. The app asked for permission to update today. I looked at the new permissions, which included this one, and declined it.