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Facebook Has Been Collecting Call And Text Message Data From Android Phones For Years

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Mark Zuckerberg’s bad month of data-breach news — which snowballed after a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower was banned from Facebook for exposing the harvesting of 50 million profiles — just grew worse with a new discovery about Android phones. Ironically, the development arrives after people began to #DeleteFacebook or at least start feeling out what information the social media platform has scraped. In the process, they discovered that their Facebook Zip file contained extensive data on their devices’ calls and texts.

One can view such information by visiting the Facebook settings page and clicking on “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” At that point, Facebook will send an email with a Zip file link, and the relevant data is located in the “html/index.htm” file. Upon doing so, Mat Johnson, Dylan McKay, And Emma Kennedy shared their thoughts on Twitter.

Ars Technica confirmed that this issue only applies to Android devices. They also contacted Facebook about this issue, and a spokesperson explained how the process begins — at the moment when people sign up for Facebook and upload phone contacts in order to easily discover more friends:

“The most important part of apps and services that help you make connections is to make it easy to find the people you want to connect with. So, the first time you sign in on your phone to a messaging or social app, it’s a widely used practice to begin by uploading your phone contacts.”

It’s an unsettling development, to say the least, and with Tim Cook now weighing in after a Whatsapp cofounder and Elon Musk jumped on the #DeleteFacebook bandwagon, the situation looks dire for Mark Zuckerberg. Speaking of Musk, he’s not at all surprised by the latest news.

(Via Ars Technica)

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