Facebook Confirms Android Text and Call Histories are Recorded

Facebook Confirms Android Text and Call Histories are Recorded

Users are downloading their Facebook data to see just how much Facebook is recording.

Facebook has had a bumpy 2018 to say the least. The social network is under fire after news broke that data firm Cambridge Analytics had been abusing the Facebook platform to download unauthorized data from over 50 million users. Now, users are downloading their own data from Facebook just to see what all the platform has recorded.

A developer, Dylan McKay, talked about his Facebook data in a thread of tweets last week that has since gone viral. McKay downloaded his own data from his account only to find that the platform had recorded data like the contacts in his phone (even contacts he no longer had), a log of incoming and outgoing phone calls and the metadata of his SMS texts, despite the fact he did not use the Facebook Messenger app to send SMS text messages.

Four days after the tweets went viral, Facebook confirmed that it had been recording the call history on Android phones, and attempted to tamp down some of the criticism by emphasizing that the effected users had opted in to the process.

"Call and text history logging is part of an opt-in feature for people using Messenger and Facebook Life on Android," the company wrote. "This helps you find and stay connected with the people you care about, and that provides you with a better experience across Facebook."

The company says that once enabled, the Messenger app begins to "continuously upload your contacts as well as your call and text history," but stressed that they do not record the text messages themselves or record the audio of phone calls. They also emphasized the fact that the data recorded was not sold.

Facebook did not say how many users had their history recorded, but there are 1.2 billion Facebook Messenger users as of 2017 and the Android operating system dominate 80 percent of the smartphone market. As of now, iPhone users do not seem to be affected.

As a result of all the data security incidents surrounding the social media platform, the Federal Trade Commission announced on Monday that they would be opening a non-public investigation into the privacy practices of the company.  

 

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Busy South Africa Building Integrates Custom Access Control System

    Nicol Corner, based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, South Africa, is home to a six-star fitness club, prime office space, and an award-winning rooftop restaurant. This is the first building in South Africa to have its glass façade fully incorporate fritted glazing, saving 35% on energy consumption. Nicol Corner (Pty) LTD has developed a landmark with sophisticated design and unique architecture by collaborating with industry-leading partners and specifying world-class equipment throughout the project. This includes installing a high-spec, bespoke security and access control system. Read Now

  • Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3

  • Mobile Safe Shield

    Mobile Safe Shield

    SafeWood Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of patented bullet resistant products, is excited to announce the launch of the Mobile Safe Shield. The Mobile Safe Shield is a moveable bullet resistant shield that provides protection in the event of an assailant and supplies cover in the event of an active shooter. With a heavy-duty steel frame, quality castor wheels, and bullet resistant core, the Mobile Safe Shield is a perfect addition to any guard station, security desks, courthouses, police stations, schools, office spaces and more. The Mobile Safe Shield is incredibly customizable. Bullet resistant materials are available in UL 752 Levels 1 through 8 and include glass, white board, tack board, veneer, and plastic laminate. Flexibility in bullet resistant materials allows for the Mobile Safe Shield to blend more with current interior décor for a seamless design aesthetic. Optional custom paint colors are also available for the steel frame. 3

  • Automatic Systems V07

    Automatic Systems V07

    Automatic Systems, an industry-leading manufacturer of pedestrian and vehicle secure entrance control access systems, is pleased to announce the release of its groundbreaking V07 software. The V07 software update is designed specifically to address cybersecurity concerns and will ensure the integrity and confidentiality of Automatic Systems applications. With the new V07 software, updates will be delivered by means of an encrypted file. 3