Social Media

Facebook has been collecting SMS and call history data from Android devices for years

Written by Sajeel Syed ·  1 min read >

Looks like the Cambridge Analytica – Facebook data scandal will result in disclosing more secrets of the tech giant.

Over 50 million Facebook users have fallen prey to an alleged data breach that occurred last week. Since then we have been seeing various outcomes of this scandal, whether it’s the huge uproar of people suggesting each other of deleting Facebook accounts or some bold steps already taken by tech billionaires like Elon Musk deleted Tesla and SpaceX’s Facebook pages.

Even though that Cambridge Analytica mystery has not resolved totally, yet a new report from Ars Technica, has revealed that Facebook has been collecting call records and SMS data from Android devices for years.

As you are aware that Facebook has been requesting various permissions from its users when you install the app. These permissions include access to contacts, SMS and MMS data, call history on Android devices. Facebook claims that it has been asking for this data for making its friend recommendation algorithm more efficient and to distinguish between business contacts and your true personal friendships.

It appears that Facebook’s Messenger app is utilized for this purpose, which often asks users to take over as an alternative to their default SMS app.

Ars Technica’s reporter Dylan McKay downloaded the archive file of all his Facebook data and he was surprised to find out that social networking giant had been keeping records of his every call and text he had made from his Android phone of around one year.

After his tweets went viral, Facebook officially responded in a blog post that they don’t share this data with any third party app and they ask before taking this data from users.

“We never sell this data, and this feature does not collect the content of your text messages or calls.”

Meanwhile, the Cambridge Analytica data scandal is catching more heat as a UK’s Parliamentary committee has summoned CEO Mark Zuckerburg to explain how data was taken without users’ consent.

Written by Sajeel Syed
I am a writer at TechJuice, overseeing IT, Telecom, Cryptocurrency, and other tech-related features here. When I'm not working, I spend some of my time with good old Xbox 360 and the rest in social activism. Follow me on Twitter: Profile