New Facebook Messenger app raises privacy concerns

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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, has some research on the subject. Read here if you wish.


  • Vernon Dozier

    I think a lot of the problems with Apple apps are a result of the poor paperwork documentation, and company’s willingness to accept lawsuits as a way to fix privacy issues. Here you have the US’s most valuable company, and the SVP of litigation is also a board member of Vail Resorts. Have you ever been to Vail..? Will Vail problems solve those in New York of the rest of America? Likely no; In fact during the recent Samsung case, Apple SVP of Vail Resorts (Bruce Sewell) was sitting in the back of the room, and likely smoking a cigar about the $2,000,000,000.00 judgement the district court in San Jose provided 25 minutes away from the “Space Donut” they’re building.

    I was looking at it a little bit deeper and Tennessee Resident, and former senator, Al Gore remains a board member at Apple. It seems he got to job, used a few people with political connections to get the SEC to allow backdating of stocks. Sure, a small fine (tax) was paid, but remember, when Bernie at Worldcom backdated stocks, he got the slammer.

    It’s good to be an Apple Employee. Seems even better if you know Al Gore.

  • Daniel

    This is a loophole for now, but please share this with your rooted friends! In order to continue using the FACEBOOK app for messaging WITHOUT having the new messenger violate your privacy, you can download the messenger app, then freeze it with titanium backup. Experienced rooters know (and now, you do to) that when an app is frozen with titanium backup, it can’t do anything. For all intents and purposes, its not there. However, facebook sees that the “messenger” app is installed, and allows you to regain access to your messages through the regular facebook app. that’s what I’m doing.. I HATE the messenger, and this is a good loophole to avoid using it.

  • Kay

    Many apps now have access to your mic, camera, and pics. That’s why I have very few apps on my phone. Even the older facebook app has the same things. You have to look at the permissions before you download an app. You’ll be surprised just how many of them require access to areas of your phone that there’s no need for.

  • Arnez Bennett Jr.

    Everyone is complaining about the new Facebook app permissions, but what you don’t realize or may not have taken the time to look. Is that most apps that have been recently upgraded on your phone from the Amazon music app, games and other apps. Have access to the same controls on your phone. Now why would any music app need to have access to your call log or camera only one answer. If you ever watched Batman: Dark Knight the movie when he creates the device to connect to and monitor all the cellphones in Gotham. This is the same thing that our elected officials have done to us. We are now walking spies on each other. But you catch a beat down or get arrested, if you get caught using your cellphone to record the police….

  • Anon Guy

    Google Hangouts Permissions:


    – Directly Call Phone Numbers
    – Read Phone Status and Identity


    – Edit your Text Messages (SMS or MMS)
    – Read Instant Messages
    – Read Your Text Messages (SMS or MMS)
    – Receive Text Messages (MMS)
    – Receive Text Messages (SMS)
    – Send SMS Messages


    – Take Photos and Videos


    – Record Audio

    GPS & Location:

    – Approximate Location (Network-Based)
    – Precice Location (GPS and Network-Based)


    – Modify Your Contacts
    – Read Your Contacts

    USB & Storage:

    – Modify or Delete the Contents of Your USB Storage
    – Read the Contents of Your USB Storage


    – Add or Remove Accounts
    – Find Accounts on the Device
    – Read Google Service Configuration
    – Use Accounts on the Device

    WiFi & Connectivity:

    – Change Network Connectivity
    – Control Near Field Communication (NFC)
    – Full Network Access
    – Receive Data from Internet
    – View Network Connections
    – View Wi-Fi Connections


    – Pair with Bluetooth Devices


    – Run at Startup

    Power Management:

    – Control Vibration
    – Prevent Phone from Sleeping


    Change you Audio Settings


    – Send Sticky Broadcast

    * Why are people crying about this? These are normal for a feature-rich messaging app. Check the permissions for Skype as well. Again, normal.

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