Vince writes:

So are you paid by FB to smooth things over for them? “This doesn’t mean that you’ve given Facebook permission to turn your phone on or off on a whim.” = BS
Yes you have because the way it is worded legally you just did! “This does not give FB free rein to make phone calls.” = Another lie on your part – Read how it is worded!

There is nothing in the agreement in granting permissions saying “only when you the user uses this function”. If their ultimate goal isn’t to turn your phone on at will to track you and sell the data then why not add a few simple words that would make it legally binding that they only have permission when you personally use said function opposed to anytime?

FB is not the only company pulling this but they are the biggest scumbags involved and anyone trusting them is a moron. Anyone claiming they are safe is either being paid to lie,stupid or just plain untrustworthy!

I wish I was on the Facebook payroll, Vince. I’ve also been accused of being on the take for saying Microsoft had some valid reasons for ending XP support and because I like Windows 8.1. 

I agree that the permissions that social media apps require can seem invasive. They use your behavior to target advertising to you, and in the case of Facebook, promote pages for you to like.  Much the way that Yahoo! Mail (I noticed you have a Yahoo! address) scans your e-mail for keywords and uses them to target advertising to you when you visit the web.  That’s the price we agree to pay for our “free services.”

But I am not lying nor incompetent when I say that the permissions required by Facebook Messenger aren’t any different than the permissions used by the Facebook Mobile App. We actually tested it out by uninstalling the FB mobile app and reinstalling it to look at the permissions. So if you’re using Facebook Mobile without privacy concerns, installing Messenger shouldn’t cause you any more worry. Of course, no Facebook app is mandatory. You can use another messaging app (though the permissions are likely to be very similar) or no messaging apps at all.

The reason that the permissions are so broad for the Android version of this app is that Google requires that permissions be very broad and all-encompassing. For those using the iPhone versions of the app, the permission for using the phone would only come up if they made a call. They could grant the permission then. Google requires Android App permissions to authorize all possibilities before they happen.

I am not saying that anyone should blindly authorize apps permissions or that anyone needs the Facebook App. But if you want to use an app that make phone calls, takes photos and videos and allows you to tag people and location, you have to let access your camera, your phone and your GPS locations to do those functions.  There’s no reason you can’t live a full life without social media or a smart phone.

If you have a smartphone, I’d challenge everyone to go back and read all of the permissions of the apps you’ve already approved. Because free apps aren’t free, they trade in information to target advertising to you.

~ Cynthia