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Facebook Messenger brings some typical permissions, but some users are afraid and uncomfortable, and many have begun to protest downloading the app.

Facebook’s given its user base approximately one week to download the new messaging app in which texting abilities are being separated from the core Facebook app. Some users that have already downloaded the Facebook Messenger app are finding it to be offensive.

One Facebook user in particular said that she is outraged at the privacy approvals users must give Facebook in order to download the Facebook Messenger app. “It makes me feel really angry. I think it’s a complete invasion of my privacy. We are growing up in a digital age but it’s hard knowing that everything you do is followed. It’s weird that Facebook and other apps are getting involved in your phone. It’s weird that I completely overlooked it,” she told CBS 6 News.

Facebook’s new Messenger app is designed to let you text other Facebook friends, but you have to give away some privacy in order to gain texting capabilities. Here are the permissions you must give the new Facebook Messenger app:

  • Identity
      • Find accounts on the device
      • Read your own contact card
  • Contacts/Calendar
    • Read your contacts
  • Location
    • Approximate location (network-based)
    • Precise location (GPS and network-based)
  • SMS
    • Edit your text messages (SMS or MMS)
    • Receive text messages (SMS)
    • Read your text messages (SMS or MMS)
  • Phone
    • Directly call phone numbers
  • Photos/Media/Files
    • Read the contents of your USB storage
    • Modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
  • Camera/Microphone
    • Take pictures and videos
    • Record audio
  • Wi-Fi connection information
    • View Wi-Fi connections

These permissions do not count others, such as the permission to give Facebook full network access to your phone and to even “change network connectivity.” For all of these permissions, you can view them by going to the Facebook Messenger app at Google Play, then scroll down to the section above “Google Play Content” that says “permissions.”

While some are what normal apps require, we have to admit: the “edit and read your text messages,” as well as “record audio” permissions are a little weird for Facebook Messenger. If the company wants to learn more about its users, we’re not sure this is such a good idea.

The best advice we can give users is this: read the permissions before agreeing to download the app. If these permissions make you feel uncomfortable, or if you think they give Facebook too much control, then do not download it. If you downloaded it in the past and you now feel uncomfortable, then the best thing to do is to use a carrier messaging app such as Verizon’s Message+, or some other carrier app that you think does a better job at maintaining privacy (FaceTime, or iMessage, for example). It’s likely the case that Instagram comes with many of the same permissions as Facebook Messenger.

22 COMMENTS

  1. You’re not giving Facebook those abilities, you’re allowing the app to do those within your phone. Its part of how the program works. There are a lot of complex features that require lots of different things to do all things it does. Typical blind internet rage from people who have no clue at all how their phones work

  2. edo ur right about that and i understand most what ur saying, but there is the otherside of these permissions as well that can be used against a user if a user is hacked, i never have liked the apps with there permissions and all ur control
    of using things in the old days on computers are fading away, i only see it benefiting
    the ones that didn’t have enough smarts to use a regular computer that the apps
    keep them all out trouble.
    I see us going backwards in the tech world instead of forward, give the texting a big example, i would much rather speak than to text all time, so much quicker and
    hands free where u can do things ur suppose to do instead ur fingers doing something else, how lame is that.

  3. what a horribly written article. duh. it need those permissions because facebook messenger can make calls, send audio, send pictures, you have the option to let people see your current location…etc….its not a privacy issue its just the features of the product.

    • Features of the product is a way for them to hide what they are really using it for. If you truly believe this is all these permissions are being used for, then I feel sorry for the blind sheep you have become, sir. No offense.

      Why is Facebook allow to take photos you have uploaded to your profile and sell them to companies without your permission? Because it’s happened. A woman not long ago was strolling through Wal*Mart one day and found her family’s photo displayed as a stock photo inside a picture frame that Wal*Mart was selling. She contacted the company, and Facebook sold them the picture.

      All because of permissions and terms that are agreed upon when using not only the apps, but signing up for the site in general.

      • I’m not sure what’s worse, Messenger wanting permission to operate like all the other software on your phones and computers or this ape hijacking every post on here to espouse his paranoia.

        • Probably the fact that I ‘hijacked’ all the posts to espouse my paranoia. But then again, what the hell do I know….

  4. Left facebook in the dust after the newsfeed experiment. Has Markie turned into a ruthless oligarch? Don’t know, but know I don’t trust fb anymore. And…I have all this extra time now 🙂 It’s liberating. It’s like finding your independent brain again.

    • How about it! I did the same thing as you. That news feed experiment was the last straw for me. The way i see it is, if I’m important enough for someone to want to keep in touch with me, they will call me or text me on that damn phone they already have connected to Facebook anyways.

  5. I got rid of Facebook apps off my phone over a year ago. This permissions where there even then. This is not ‘new’. They have been there for several versions.

    I went with just using the facebook browser for a while. When I heard about their little experiment of filling people’s news feeds with certain content to see if it would change their moods, that was enough for me. If people really want to keep in touch with me, they will go out of their way to do so outside of Facebook. If not, then they are not important enough to me anyways….

      • Baseless, huh? You obviously do not know what I know about that company, sir. I bet you are one of those Facebook junkies that shares your entire life on there. You fill out your profile like a good sheep should! You tell them where you have worked, where you want to school, what you ate for breakfast, you check in your location for work and vacations….

        Such a good little brother, you are!

  6. This is why rooting isn’t really an option anymore, its mandatory! Root access and other tools to allow users to take back their phones and privacy from developers and carriers. Many custom ROMs have permission guards built-in now like cm11 and PA. The same can be achieved with root access on a stock rom and an xposed module. Its your choice, take back your phone or just carry that 300.00$ billboard around in your pocket.

    • I really need to learn how to root… I’m a tech geek with PCs, but I have not gotten into rooting the phones yet. Think I might travel down that avenue soon.

  7. I think you have issues if you are scared of being spied on facebook messenger, i mean seriously what is there to be afraid of? your messages being read as ” i love you honey, hey lets eat, what you doing? ” lol

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