Facebook Wants Access To Your Text Messages

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 Wants Access To Your 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:

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 10.34.28 AM

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.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com

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