Yesterday, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) took a large amount of flak from various groups around the Internet when it came to light that it had "hid" or "snuck" a new permission into its app for Android that during installation would have users agreeing to allow Facebook to read users' text messages.
Facebook will be rolling out this change in the near future
Of course, in this day and age, that brought a Reddit conversation. Somewhat surprisingly it was a return to a Reddit conversation that began in December when the proposed change first came to light. Yesterday's furor was clearly caused by the fact that it looks as though Facebook will indeed be rolling out this proposed change in the near future.
Why do you need this?
If nothing else, the question that should be asked by anyone interested in using Facebook for Android, is "Why the hell do you need that?" The explanation borders on the absurd.
From Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)'s website:
Essentially, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is saying that users are too stupid to utilize their two-factor authentication or find text messages that are sent to you. As a society, we've been texting far too often and too long to be told that we can't be trusted to find a message from Facebook confirming our identities. If the choice is access to all messages or me spending a few minutes looking for an old text I'll take the latter all day, any day.
That's not going to happen
I'm not being overly paranoid when I say that this simply sounds like another way for Facebook to glean information about its users in order to more effectively target them with advertisements. Call me crazy, but targeting ads using my education level seems less invasive than the use of my private text messages which takes the level of invasion near prostate exam levels.
Now, to be fair, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) both do this with my email information. But I know this. The idea of an unwanted text sent to my phone being scanned and potentially used against me by Facebook seems like a whole different animal then Gmail looking at "something" I put on their servers.
My text messages have nothing to do with my Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) use. Nothing.
It must be said that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has never said they would be using this information for anything but their encryption. Does that mean I will grant them this new permission? It does not. In my experience when you give people an inch they will take a yard, never mind a tech company powered by advertising revenues.