Be Worried: Facebook Scraped SMS and Calls Data on Android Devices

De Master Yoda

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Facebook is once again at the center of attention, following the events from last week when the Cambridge Analytica scandal burst out. Now, it has come to the attention of several users that the Facebook’s mobile apps for Android have been recording user data beyond the imaginable and admissible data collection. How did these users become aware of this phone and SMS scraping behavior? After they downloaded an archive of their Facebook data to check what it contained – an action which was undoubtedly triggered by the Cambridge Analytica’s wrongdoings.

Related Story: 50 Million Facebook Profiles Exploited for Trump’s Election Campaign
Facebook’s Mobile Apps for Android Logging SMS and Calls: What’s Happening?
Just last week it came to our knowledge that the data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, that had professional relations with Donald Trump’s election team harvested millions of US voters’ Facebook profiles. What is more, the firm was headed at that time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon. Now, it turns out that the social network is abusing some of its users’ privacy to an unimaginable level, of course, without their actual knowledge.

The type of information that some users noticed being collected by the mobile apps of Facebook includes data on all phone calls made on the particular device, the start time and duration of every call, and the contact’s name.
Interestingly, the app didn’t log calls from numbers outside the user’s address book. In addition to the call information, the Facebook mobile app was “caught” logging information on all SMS messages (both sent and received). However, the actual text within these messages was not collected.
 
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