Call and text history not logged without user permission – Facebook
MANILA, Philippines – Facebook clarified that it does not collect the actual content of calls or text messages when users choose to upload their contact information, Reuters reported.
The response came as Facebook users discovered that the social network has been logging their call and text history. Upon deleting their account in light of the #DeleteFacebook movement, some users found a file that contains this information, along with other data such as address book contacts, calendars, and their friends' birthdays. (READ: Facebook runs UK, U.S. newspaper ads apologizing for data scandal)
As reported by The Guardian, these users took to Twitter to air their grievances. Here is one of the tweets:
I’ve just looked at the data files I requested from Facebook and they had every single phone number in my contacts. They had every single social event I went to, a list of all my friends (and their birthdays) and a list of every text I’ve sent.— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) March 25, 2018
The users found the data as Facebook shows this message whenever a user attempts to delete his or her Facebook account: "You may want to download a copy of your info from Facebook."
The users who deleted their account downloaded the file, and discovered the data that Facebook had harvested from them. (READ: Consent and Facebook's data scandal: Know what you're signing up for)
After users started reporting their findings and expressing fears that Facebook had collected their data without their permission, the social network responded that the contacts as well as call and SMS data were collected only after the user opted in.
"You may have seen some recent reports that Facebook has been logging people's call and SMS (text) history without their permission. This is not the case," Facebook said in a statement published by Reuters. (READ: Psychographics: The behavioral analysis that helped Cambridge Analytica know voters' minds)
"Call and text history logging is part of an opt-in feature for people using Messenger. While we receive certain permissions from Android, uploading this information has always been opt-in only," Facebook added.
According to various online reports, Facebook collects the information in order to connect people easier to their friends. The social network also said that information relating to contacts, calls, and text messages are not sold to third parties. – Rappler.com