Facebook’s New Messenger App for Android Causes Privacy Concerns

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Facebook has created a new messenger app for Android that has caused significant privacy concerns among its users. Although privacy concerns with this social media company is not a new concept, the new permission requirements within their new Messenger App has created unrest with some customers, making them feel violated and unsafe. The biggest concern encompasses the app’s need to record conversations and know users’ personal information without notifying them every time.

These permission rights have extended to other social media sites as well, but this company has been the one put in the spotlight to take the heat. When users now try to message friends through this app, Facebook will send an automated note saying that the recipient must download the app before they can reply. With the number of features that the new app requests access to, customers feel as though it exposes their identity and has sent them into a panic.

The online social networking service has been doing its best to keep the chaos under control, but rumors have already circulated like wildfire. In contrary to the privacy concerns the new Facebook Messenger App has caused within Android users, all the social media company wants to do is better improve how users contact and share pictures and videos with their friends. However, the way that seems to be happening is being blown out of proportion, Facebook said, noting the break in communication.

Ken Colburn with Data Doctors has said that their new change is not that uncommon, and not as sneaky as it is coming across to users. Everything can be taken at face value, and customers are allowed to have full view of the privacy agreements before accepting them. With the concern breaking out, he explained that users really should start looking at the privacy agreements with all of the apps they have on their phones. “You’ll be pretty surprised,” Colburn said.

Requesting permission to access phone numbers, text and call contacts, record audio and take pictures and video are all part of a plan to create later updates that users will fall in love with. On the flip side, Colburn said that if the company was going to start turning on customers’ phones without their knowledge that would be a huge issue very quickly.

Sarah Milton, a social media consultant, reported that the new changes will begin to affect clients this week. If customers decide not to download the new app, she points out, they won’t be able to send messages or pictures back and forth as easily. She sees nothing to be alarmed about in the app, and nothing out of the ordinary compared to other apps.

According to Milton, the app is geared for them to know more about the users as individuals, giving them a better target ads database that is more appealing to vendors.

On their website, Facebook has a link to a page that explains the new update for Android in detail. Because Android is a different operating system than an Apple product, things need to be done different. It requires access to specific features in order to function properly.

The website reads “Your phone or tablet should let you know the app is asking for your permission to access information.”

Facebook acknowledges the fear and privacy concern their new Messenger App has caused within Android users when the permission request pops up, so they have made sure to go in-depth about how everything asked for is used. For instance, with wanting access to phone numbers, the social media site is only wanting the ability to connect users more quickly with their friends and family.

By Rachel Roddy

Sources:

The Independent
CBS
AZFamily
WistTV
Facebook

9 Responses to "Facebook’s New Messenger App for Android Causes Privacy Concerns"

  1. Jim Lindekugel   August 31, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I will not download this app. Since I have had my this phone, I’ve noticed most apps require the same or similar permissions. I will not install those either. I have also removed apps from my phone for the same reasons.

    Reply
  2. Jack Briss   August 12, 2014 at 8:14 am

    The answer is so simple. Just use your Smart phone Browser Like Chrome and type in efacebook.com and login, The messenger will work the same as it does on a desktop, Problem solved.

    Reply
  3. Andre Richards   August 11, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    On iPhone, you just go to Settings > Privacy and you have complete control of which apps have access to specific info and features of your phone. You can turn those things on and off at will and it’s enforced by the OS. Doesn’t Android have that?

    Reply
  4. Michael Gouda   August 11, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Huffington Post recently updated their article regarding FB permissions that is based on a recent statement from FB made in response to the recent global uproar over messenger’s new requirement that it have complete and total access to the data on our cell phones. Note the following as stated verbatim in Facebook’s response the Huffington Post article, “Note that this list doesn’t include all of the Android permissions we request or all of our uses of those permissions.”

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4365645/

    My original post: There has been a lot of discussion online lately about the new and highly invasive permissions Facebook requires if you install it on your phone. I just uninstalled the Facebook mobile app and messenger. Now I access FB through an incognito tab in my phone’s browser. It works just as well and even better in many ways while limiting FB’s ability to read everything on my phone including my photos, contact lists, profiles and logins to all of my other apps, call logs, all text messages etc. It will also make FB unable to turn on my microphone and camera without my knowledge and permission. I think it is very important for FB users to send a message back to the company by doing this as well. If you value your privacy I suggest you try using FB this way going forward. MG

    Reply
  5. Brian   August 11, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Where do you see that it says it will record your conversations? I have looked several times and only see where it says “Record Audio” which if that’s what you interpret as “recording your conversations” then I strongly recommend you seek to understand the terms a little better. Clearly there is an inaccurate perception on this new app.

    Reply
  6. Ron   August 11, 2014 at 4:04 am

    How does recording your conversations, having access to your and your contacts pics & ph #’s enable them to make it quicker ? Firstly, isn’t instant messaging already instant !! Secondly, we all share pics without experiencing issues and giving then the ability to turn your phone on at any time to use your camera or record conversations has nothing to do with improving service. It has everything to do with the sale of info to vendors.. Vendors will pay a premium for this type of info and all to be used in order to advertise more and fill your inboxes with adds, etc… Don’t forget that none of these programs, even Facebook itself is just to make like easier and more fun, it’s ALWAYS about money

    Reply
  7. sky Kylie   August 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Hi

    Reply
  8. sky Kylie   August 10, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I have

    Reply

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