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There’s good reason to be skeptical of Facebook when it comes to privacy, but the Facebook Messenger app isn’t the privacy nightmare that some people think it is.
Facebook is gradually forcing users of its mobile app to download the Facebook Messenger app to their smartphones and tablets in order to continue using the chat feature.
In this case at least, the Zuckerbergers don’t deserve the Big Brother accusations being lobbed their way – but they might have avoided a lot of pain if they had spelled things out for users better.
As Facebook points out, Google Play requires users to accept all permissions the app might need before downloading – even if some of those features are never accessed by the user.
In its help article about the Android permissions, Facebook also says the way permissions are described is controlled by Google, even though they don’t “necessarily reflect the way the Messenger app and other apps use them”: By contrast, Apple takes a much more granular approach to permissions for i OS apps.
In a help article on Facebook.com, the company explains why some of these permissions are needed, noting for example that accessing the device’s microphone and camera is necessary for sending video messages.
This move has led to a backlash against the social media giant, and it’s not just because Messenger is a separate app that takes up a lot of extra device memory.
Messenger offers much more than the traditional chat available on Facebook.com, including the ability to place calls, send videos, and send messages from the home screen without opening the app.