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Facebook Messenger: block the collection of SMS and calls

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How Facebook collects your communications history
Disable the recording of your call and SMS history in Messenger
Are Android permissions too lax?

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After revelations about the theft of data from more than 87 million Internet users, Facebook is at the heart of a new controversy. A user of the social network has just noticed that the Facebook Messenger application recorded the history of his phone calls and his SMS. You may be among the users affected by this problem? For the occasion, we offer a method to prevent Messenger from collecting the Android call log..

How Facebook collects your communications history

As Facebook tries to defuse a data theft scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, the social network is once again under fire from critics. And this again affects the personal information of users. We explain to you what it is.

By downloading his Facebook data folder, a New Zealand developer made a strange discovery. He has just noted that the platform was collecting various information on its telephone communications. The Facebook archive summarizing his activity on the social network contained numerous recordings on his SMS and the calls he had made for several years on his smartphone..

In the downloaded document we find for example the date, time, duration and the number of the correspondent for whom the call was intended. After some research, the programmer realized that this data recovery was carried out via the Messenger and Facebook Lite applications. The latter made it clear that he had never used any Facebook app to make phone calls from his Android smartphone (Lollipop).

Are Android permissions too lax?

This new discovery risks adding fuel to the fire after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. For its part, Facebook has acknowledged collecting the call and SMS history of its users since 2015. However, the company specifies that this operation is done with the consent of the users via the permissions of Android..

Concretely this means that if you give Facebook or Messenger the possibility of synchronizing your telephone directory, you implicitly authorize it to record your call history. This device for recording call logs cannot therefore be done without the authorization of the users.

According to the American social network, this provision would help you stay in touch with your friends but also improve its algorithm for recommending friends. This functionality is also included in the application access conditions.

Facebook has however tried to reassure its users. The firm said it did not record the content of text messages or telephone conversations. Another important point, still according to the social platform, the data contained in the call history is in no case sold to third-party companies.

Disable the recording of your call and SMS history in Messenger

This data collection revealed via Twitter surprised many Messenger users. It must be said that few people take the time to read the conditions of use in detail. And we understand them. Even if the law prohibits clauses written in illegible characters, they are nonetheless incomprehensible to the general public.

Most of the general conditions of use are written in forbidding legal jargon. In addition, some of them only serve to protect companies in the event of a lawsuit and not to inform users of their rights.

If you have inadvertently given permission to Messenger or Facebook Lite to save your call and text history, please be aware that this feature can be very easily disabled.

  • Launch the Facebook Messenger app
  • Click on the icon representing your avatar. The latter is located in the upper right corner of the application
  • Bring the window down
  • Press the Contacts button
  • Look in the window for the option Synchronization of calls and texts
  • If the setting is disabled, Messenger does not record your calls or SMS
  • If on the contrary the option is activated, you just have to press on the title of this functionality and check the box Disable or Off.
  • Finally, it is also possible that the Synchronization function continues calls and texts do not appear in the contact window. Rest assured this is completely normal. New versions of Android have improved permissions management for accessing call logs

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