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Is Facebook Messenger violating Android user's privacy rights? Company shifts blame to Google

August 12
1:56 PM 2014

Facebook's purportedly new app have recently riled up users, thanks to its permission request. Several tirades have swarmed social media claiming that the new application violated certain rights. 

For its new Facebook Messenger app, users, particularly Android owners, are required to download the application in order to continue reading old and sending new messages.

Many did so but with so many qualms about it, BGR reported. The terms of the application would have users agree for Facebook to acquire photos and videos without expressed permission from the owners. Moreover, the application will also have Facebook access to basically all pertinent content of a user's phone. Sounds like the app could very well be that scary hacking technology spies use in movies.

In response to the backlash over the app, Facebook has since written an explanation, which in part, read, "If you install the Messenger app, you should see a screen letting you know that the app is asking for your permission to access information or use features from your Android phone or tablet. Almost all apps need certain permissions to run on Android, and we use these permissions to run features in the app. Keep in mind that Android controls the way the permissions are named, and the way they're named doesn't necessarily reflect the way the Messenger app and other apps use them." 

New York Times believes that the Facebook backlash over its Messenger is simply a product of miscommunication. According to the newspaper, users can actually choose which information in their phones that they want to share. The paper also said that Google, who developed the Android OS for smartphones, should also share the blame. For instance, the Times noted that Apple gives you the option to proceed option-by-option in the app's installation so you can manage the things that Messenger can access in your phone.

"And here's the surprising thing about Messenger: It's actually not that bad. Although you must download a second app, which is a minor annoyance, you can still see, respond to and receive messages in the full Facebook app," the Times argued.

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