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Facebook denies that it’s reading your texts

John Moe Feb 27, 2012

I guess if you’re in a position of having to deny the accusations that you’re reading someone’s text messages, then you’re already in a rather dubious position relative to people’s expectations of you. Alas, Facebook, ‘tis so. Nevertheless, Facebook is saying that it is not reading the text messages of users. The Sunday Times in London reported that Facebook was among several companies scraping the contents of text messages in much the same way that all those sneaky apps were grabbing iPhone address books.

From CNET:

The newspaper said Facebook “admitted” to reading users’ text messages during a test of its own messaging service. The report also says information such as user location, contacts list, and browser history are often accessed and sometimes transmitted to third-party companies, including advertisers.

Facebook says it’s not reading messages but in the permissions for the latest version of its Android app, it has turned on read/write functionality.

Facebook goes on to say

Facebook is currently running a limited test of mobile features which integrate with SMS functionality. SMS read/write is not currently implemented for most users of the mobile app. As part of this test, we declared the presence of that functionality within our app store permissions starting with the 1.7 version of our application. If Facebook ultimately launches any feature that makes use of these permissions, we will ensure that this is accompanied by appropriate guidance/educational materials.

So Facebook is looking to piggyback on an SMS platform at some point but not yet and promises to tell you when and how it does.


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