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Why I’m Not Downloading The New Facebook Messenger App

By: Justin Sullivan

It seems the Facebook news feed has been filled with talk of the new Messenger App now for a couple of weeks. It’s been getting a lot of bad press. After doing some research I’ve decided to NOT download the app for several reasons. I find it very annoying to have to switch between apps to send a message. It wasn’t broken so don’t fix it as far as I’m concerned. By downloading the app, here’s what you’re signing up for.

From Snopes.com:

  • Allows the app to change the state of network connectivity
  • Allows the app to call phone numbers without your intervention. This may result in unexpected charges or calls. Malicious apps may cost you money by making calls without your confirmation.
  • Allows the app to send SMS messages. This may result in unexpected charges. Malicious apps may cost you money by sending messages without your confirmation.
  • Allows the app to record audio with microphone. This permission allows the app to record audio at any time without your confirmation.
  • Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation.
  • Allows the app to read you phone’s call log, including data about incoming and outgoing calls. This permission allows apps to save your call log data, and malicious apps may share call log data without your knowledge.
  • Allows the app to read data about your contacts stored on your phone, including the frequency with which you’ve called, emailed, or communicated in other ways with specific individuals.
  • Allows the app to read personal profile information stored on your device, such as your name and contact information. This means the app can identify you and may send your profile information to others.
  • Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. This permission allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call.
  • Allows the app to get a list of accounts known by the phone. This may include any accounts created by applications you have installed.
However, an article in the Washington Post points out that many of these permissions are already things we’ve agreed to in the Facebook Terms of Service.
The bottom line is, I’m taking a stand. Reportedly the app has been downloaded more than a billion times. But it won’t see the light of day on my crappy phone.

 

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