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Facebook denies spying on its users

27 Feb 2012 2:21 GMT Back
Facebook denies spying on its users
Facebook web page

Also in the news

Facebook hits back at claims in The Sunday Times that it reads text messages on Android phone. The social networking giant admits reading the text messages of a small pool of users as part of a test of its own messaging service.

Facebook’s communications manager for Europe Ian Mackenzie says Facebook gave the reporter a full explanation about the SMS read/write permissions of the Facebook Android app and how it was part of a small test.

He hits back in a Facebook blog post: “A ludicrous attempt to cook up a story about companies spying on users – spun out of our explanation that we declared the app permission to everyone even though we’re only using it with selected people who know the score.”

Ignorance among users seems to be the most likely culprit. A YouGov survey commissioned by The Sunday Times found that 70% of people rarely if ever check what permissions apps asked for before installing them. Most users grant access to private information on their smartphone every time they download an app.

This gives companies the permission to transmit contact details and internet histories to third parties and even to remotely access users’ smartphone cameras. Even the most stringent data protection regulation cannot help people who wilfully give away their most private data.

Posted by Smarayda Christoforou

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