People have come to see multitasking as a virtue, creating the need for the required companies to make communication easier and faster. Facebook Messenger, for example, has become a powerful tool for people to connect with each other. In April, it was discovered that 900 million people use Messenger every month and millions of people chat with strangers, make friends, family and connect with business. In essence, this is how information, important and personal, is shared.
The idea seems harmless, but a warning is now circulating that if you have Messenger, you should remove it. Then, after you uninstall it, you need to download it again and read the terms and conditions.
We have known for a long time that there are many things the average Facebook user misses when it comes to protecting themselves online, simply because there is a lot going on, and also because not everyone is aware of their privacy rights. But when you realize that the Social Media giant is deliberately tricking you into being spied on, things suddenly feel a lot more personal.
Mobile phone users attempting to install the Facebook Messenger app must accept terms of service, under which the company gains access to your microphone and can then record audio at any time without your knowledge or consent.
Take a look at the screenshot below:
If you zoom in, you can see that users are being forced to accept an agreement that specifically states that Facebook will “record audio with the microphone…….. at any time, without your confirmation”. Other conditions include giving them permission to take photos and videos using the phone’s camera, and to call numbers directly which may result in charges. Even more alarming is that Facebook can also read your phone’s log, just like it can access data from the contacts stored on your phone, including the frequency of phone calls you make, email, or other way of communicating with others.
Most people skip the preconditions to get to their destination faster, but it’s a perfect example of how companies abuse this knowledge for their own benefit. The result, in this case, is that Facebook can track people 24/7.
Facebook has responded here to concerns expressed about the app. This also seeped into the mainstream as so many people have commented on this all over the Internet.
Other companies also require people to give them access to their location and then, on average, have full access to our communication tools. There are so many examples of this that they can no longer be counted and it is people like Edward Snowden who make us aware that this is happening and who really do their best for it.
For example, have you heard of Allo ? According to Edward Snowden, you shouldn’t be using this app, because if you give the green light to one example by accepting the terms, it’s this one! It’s an app from Google that “registers EVERY message you ever send and makes it available to the police if they ask for it,” the whistleblower tweeted .
Tech giant Google is working hard to infiltrate the virtual chat world, launching Space Duo and thus, most recently, Allo. All this just in the past few months.
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