Since Facebook was launched for public use, numerous claims have made their way to the surface exposing the social network for abuse of privacy. Now, it has been reported that Facebook Messenger can record your audio anytime they want, and you don’t have to provide permission.
Times have changed, obviously, and while text messages were once the main form of communication, now most conversations are held by use of Facebook Messenger. As a matter of fact, Facebook has reported that an astounding 900 million people use their services for not only the common people but also for businesses as well.
However, I would be willing to bet that the majority of that 900 million don’t realize that they are being recorded. And while many are shaking their heads as they read this article in disbelief, it is worth mentioning that according to The Independent, Facebook doesn’t refute the fact that they are in fact listening to you.
On the contrary, according to Facebook, the app does listen to what is happening around you, but they feign innocent on their intentions. Their claim is that they are spying on you in order to find out your interests so that they can suggest what you should post. Because that makes their spying totally less creepy, right?
And if you don’t believe us, delete your Facebook Messenger app. Now reinstall it. Within a few moments, you should see a few different pop-ups, including these:
Now notice the terminology in the terms of agreement.
Kelli Burns, who works as a mass communication professor at the University of Florida states that while the feature wasn’t available initially when she tested it recently by discussing certain topics around her phone to see if Facebook then used the information to customize her advertisements. And then, within moments, the site began to update the advertisements based on what she had said around her phone.
Facebook insisted to the Independent that while audio is used to customize your posts based on what is happening around you, they don’t record you to customize advertisements to fit your interests. Once again, still not less creepy.
There is good news, though. If you take the time to go in and change your settings, you can prevent Facebook from recording anything, or at least hope that you are anyways. On iPhones go to your app settings, then go to privacy, and switch the slider setting for the microphone. Android users will need to go to settings, then privacy, and change the permissions that are granted for Facebook. Unfortunately, with convenience also comes a loss of privacy in our technologically advancing world. For now, we must weigh the pros and cons for such apps, and decide to either risk having our privacy invaded or lose the convenience factors that such outlets provide. What do you think? Is it worth the risk?