March 25, 2018

Facebook scraped call, text message data for years from Android phones

Sean Gallagher—Ars Technica:

This past week, a New Zealand man was looking through the data Facebook had collected from him in an archive he had pulled down from the social networking site. While scanning the information Facebook had stored about his contacts, Dylan McKay discovered something distressing: Facebook also had about two years’ worth of phone call metadata from his Android phone, including names, phone numbers, and the length of each call made or received.

This experience has been shared by a number of other Facebook users who spoke with Ars, as well as independently by us—my own Facebook data archive, I found, contained call-log data for a certain Android device I used in 2015 and 2016, along with SMS and MMS message metadata.

This is … distressing. If you’re an Android phone owner you might want to click the link near the top of the quoted story, download your Facebook data, and have a look. Hell, I have an iPhone and I’m going to have a look just to see what’s there.

FYI: this data “sharing” scenario cannot happen on an iPhone because each app runs in its own “sandbox,” restricted to its own data. Sandboxing is the polar opposite of the “open” philosophy behind the Android operating system. Many Android advocates have criticized Apple’s App Store and sandboxing security approach as a “walled garden.” Choose your poison.

#Facebook #dataPrivacy #Android