Saturday, August 9, 2014

Facebook Messenger App (TOS) Frenzy

My cousin brought this concern to my attention by asking:

"Hey, is this something to be worried about? Do you know?" and gave a link to an article about Facebook controlling your smartphone. [Link]

This article is mainly about Facebook forcing users who use the basic Facebook app to download and use the Facebook Messenger app to communicate between other friends via instant messenger (I/M) and what the app wants access to to use said app.

The truth is, Facebook wants its main Facebook app to start faster and run better... So they are separating each into two separate apps.

First, here is the Snopes link.

Second, from what I am reading (these two links and many other articles), many people are upset over the terms of service (TOS) the app request before you can use it... but people are going ballistic over what it wants access to.

Yes, it is asking for permission to have access to this items such as camera, phone, allowed to use network/internet/data, access to contacts, etc.-- But here is the thing, it's not the only app that does this. If you want to take a picture using your phone while using Instagram (for example), you have to give the app permission to do so. If you want to use maps, you have to allow it to your data or location to pin-point your exact location. Otherwise, the apps are useless and can not do what is intended to do.

Mainly, it does have access to these features on your phone, it is not combing or secretly searching through personal information to use for its benefit or to “steal” for gain or to take control of your device.

So relax your little head. At the moment of me writing this, I was still able to use messenger on the basic Facebook app and the Facebook Paper app. Until that day comes where you can not... There are other I/M apps out there to allow you to keep in contact with friends if you do not feel comfortable using the Messenger app.

SIDE NOTE: I currently use an iPhone 5c at the time of writing this, and use Facebook Paper over the two apps. I do have the main FB app installed just in case. I do not work or have any ties with Facebook, Inc. -- I was just asked to look into this.