The SHOCKING TRUTH behind Facebook Messenger

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The SHOCKING TRUTH behind Facebook Messenger

If you are one of the 1.07 billion people that use Facebook on their mobile devices then you probably have noticed that Facebook are now forcing you to download their Facebook Messenger app if you want to private message your friends.

Inevitably thousands of users have posted their dismay on the various app stores but they aren’t just complaining about it being a separate app from Facebook. Many users have been showing their concerns about their privacy as many believe Facebook is spying on them.  

Is Facebook really stealing your personal data?

Despite what everyone is saying, Facebook Messenger isn’t allowed to read your texts or use your smartphone camera to watch you and if they did they would be in huge amounts of trouble.

Many believe that installing the Facebook Messenger app gives them control over your mobile phone but the app’s permissions aren’t actually that different from the original Facebook app that you have been using for years. Plus it’s not only Facebook with those permissions; many other popular apps have near enough identical permissions too.

When you download Facebook Messenger you agree to give them permission to access your devices camera, contacts, microphone, location, calendar and much more which seems quite scary, however you have been giving many others the same permissions for years including Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Viber. However allowing these apps access to all these functions are vital if you want to send pictures to your friends via snapchat or make phone calls through Facebook as these apps need permission to use those functions otherwise they wouldn’t work but it doesn’t mean they will watch you while you sleep or listen in to your phone calls.

Although like many other websites, apps and online service they will be collecting and using your data for advertising purposes. This does sound like spying but it’s not as bad as some reports suggest.

We may not like the fact Facebook is forcing us to download the Messenger app and you shouldn’t be put off from downloading it. All applications come with privacy concerns and Facebook Messenger isn’t any different.

iPhone Settings for the paranoid

For those of you who still don’t like the fact Facebook can see and use your Contact, Microphone, Photos, location, etc. You don’t have to give them access to all those functions (however it will limit your app usage).

Simply go to Settings > Privacy. Here you can switch off Location tracking and stop giving them access to your Contacts, Calendar, Photos, Microphone and more by disabling them. However keep in mind if you switch off access the apps will have limited functions, for example - if you switch off the photos access you won’t be able to directly upload your photos to Facebook from your phone or if you switch off location tracking for Google Maps you won’t be able to pin point your location.

Be sure to only switch off the functions you don’t use regularly. 

Luke Stanley