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Thread: Facebook's Android App Found Harvesting Call and SMS Data

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    Post Facebook's Android App Found Harvesting Call and SMS Data

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    As Ars Technica reports, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal a Facebook user in New Zealand decided to download and inspect their personal data archive. This person was shocked to find about two years' worth of phone call metadata, where no explicit access to that data was granted. Ars has confirmed that this personal information, along with metadata for SMS and MMS, is showing up in the archives for other Facebook users as well. The information includes names, phone numbers plus times and lengths of phone calls.

    You may have guessed that this is all about app permissions, and you'd be right. Since Android Marshmallow (v6.0) app permissions have been opt-in—meaning that before the Facebook app can help itself to your contact list you have to explicitly allow it via a pop-up toggle. Before Marshmallow the only means of granular control for such permissions were (as I recall) Privacy Guard for CyanogenMod and LBE Privacy Guard for MIUI. Even worse, granting Facebook access to your contacts in Android Jelly Bean (v4.1) and earlier automatically gave the app access to your call and message logs as well.

    Even if you had one of the aforementioned privacy guards in place, or if you never used the Facebook app at all, it's still very possible that your personal information was harvested from the device of someone you know. So whether you use it or not, Facebook very likely knows exactly who you are.

    Source: Ars Technica
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