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New Facebook Messenger app raises privacy concerns

RICHMOND, Va. –The new Facebook Messenger app has many people concerned because the app can access their personal information and record conversations without notifying users.

As a result, many people worried about their privacy online have posted their concerns about the app on Facebook.

“It makes me feel really angry. I think it’s a complete invasion of my privacy,” Emily Wilkinson said about the app.

Wilkinson said she wishes she would have paid more attention to the terms of service just one day ago when she downloaded the app on her smart phone.

“We are growing up in a digital age but it’s hard knowing everything you do is followed. It’s weird that Facebook and other apps are getting involved in your phone. It’s weird that I completely overlooked it,” Wilkinson said.

Social media consultant Sarah Milston, who runs The Spark Mill, said the new changes with Facebook Messenger will affect users starting this week.

Milston said she has already received calls from clients and explained that those who choose to download the app are giving Facebook the right to access their cameras and microphones.

The app will also be able to access your contact list, and see your phone call log including who you called and how long the call lasted.

Downloading the app also gives permission for Facebook to send photos back and forth. Milston said that if you choose not to download it, it does mean you won’t be able to send messages through the Facebook application on your phone.

Milston points out the access the Facebook Messenger app gains to your personal information isn’t much different from what’s gained by other apps.

“Any app you send pictures to back and forth like Instagram, you’ve given them access to your photos,” Milston said. “It’s all geared around them knowing more about us as individuals so they can better target ads so that their ad sales are more appealing to vendors.”

If interested, Snopes.com has some research on the subject. Read here if you wish.

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