Facebook has been collecting call, SMS records from Android devices
After the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal blew up in the last few weeks, users have become more aware of data privacy and security on the social media platform. To that end, they have been downloading the Facebook data file that elaborates upon all the data it has stored from your account, and have found that Facebook has been collecting call records and SMS data from their Android devices.
Users find months of call history data
The Messenger app helps Facebook collect this data
Facebook reportedly requests access to contacts, SMS, and call history to improve its friend recommendation algorithm and differentiate between business contacts, friends and family. The Facebook Messenger app on Android, which aims at becoming the default SMS platform for users, helps the company collect this info. Notably, the collection of call and SMS records by Facebook has not been discovered on iOS devices.
Accessing call logs normal for social media apps: Facebook
In response, Facebook said that this was normal for social media apps. "The most important part of apps and services that help you make connections is to make it easy to find the people you want to connect with. So, the first time you sign in on your phone, it's a widely used practice to begin by uploading your phone contacts," it said.
Here's how you can download your Facebook data file
Log in to Facebook on the web and go to Settings. In the General tab, click on the 'Download a copy of your Facebook data' option. Re-enter your password and select 'Start My Archive' to initiate the download process. A ZIP file, whose size depends on how old and active your Facebook account is, will then be sent to your registered e-mail address.
The ZIP file contains the list of advertisers who have your contact information, the keywords advertisers use to target ads on your timeline, every ad you have ever clicked on, third-party apps linked with your Facebook account, and all IP addresses you've logged in from.