Facebook has come under fire as of late according to London’s Sunday Times newspaper. It alleges that Facebook has “admitted” to “reading text messages” during a trial to launch its own messaging service. However TechCrunch says that British Sunday newspapers have known “for crying wolf” to help copy sales. Here’s are is the exact quote taken directly from the paper itself:
An investigation of phone apps by this newspaper has uncovered how:
- Data — including the user’s location, the phone numbers of contacts and their Internet history — are often accessed via apps and in some cases transmitted to “third party” companies including advertisers.
- Some companies can remotely control features on smartphones, including cameras, on which they can take pictures and video at any time.
- Downloading some basic apps leaves people vulnerable to a torrent of spam and invasive advertising.
This is not the first (nor the last) time any social network has gotten this much attention under the magnifying glass, just ask Path. The article is somewhat coy after its somewhat damaging headline by pointing out that companies are accessing this data “when people agree to the terms and conditions of downloading an app” (do you guys even read those things?). YouGov confirms poll for The Sunday Times, 70 percent rarely or never read the Terms and Conditions when downloading apps. Ok. So what else is new?
Immediately, Facebook responds to the allegations via ZDNet:
Facebook said that lots of communications apps use these permissions, and the application technically has the capability to integrate with the phone’s SMS system, but added that it is for testing purposes. The company did not respond to the claim that the Times “admitted” to reading text messages, however.
Sounds like link bait? Hey, well Facebook didn’t comment on admitting to reading text messages either.
Note: Viewing the source requires that you are a subscriber to the Sunday Times.