Facebookâ€™s latest reading list includes usersâ€™ text and multimedia messages, according to security researcher Tony Calileo. An update of the social networkâ€™s Android app seeks permission to read peopleâ€™s private messages to allegedly connect phone numbers with accounts.
â€œAdvertisements for that new Nikon camera, for instance, will sell for more money if only people interested in photography are seeing it,â€ Tony Calileo said. â€œFacebook gathers this information from pretty much everything you feed them – that’s nothing new. But now they’re able to read your text messages.â€
The 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.
â€œWe realize some of these permissions sound scary, so weâ€™d like to provide more info about how we use them,â€ Facebook said. â€œIf 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.â€
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 usersâ€™ 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.