Just uninstall the Facebook app

Facebook scraped call, text message data for years from Android phones says Sean Gallagher, writing for Ars Technica:

This past week, a New Zealand man was looking through the data Facebook had collected from him in an archive he had pulled down from the social networking site. While scanning the information Facebook had stored about his contacts, Dylan McKay discovered something distressing: Facebook also had about two years’ worth of phone call metadata from his Android phone, including names, phone numbers, and the length of each call made or received.

I can, maybe, understand storing contact information, but storing phone call history, metadata, names, and phone numbers seems negligent at best and despicable at its worst. More so, it seems it’s not obvious to users that the Facebook app reads, uploads, and stores this information. Earlier versions of Android made stuff like this way too easy. In those days, apps could grab tons of permissions to access things like contacts, phone, location, and storage. The user was presented with a badly designed wall of text with brief explanations of that each permission entailed. Once the user, hits accept, the app was free to do anything it wanted, within the scope of accepted permissions.

This explainer is pretty bad

The only solution here is to uninstall the Facebook app. I uninstalled the Facebook app for Android years ago, when it was a pretty terrible wrapper for their mobile site. It also turned out to be pretty hard on phone performance and battery life as well. This latest discovery should be the 3rd strike for many Facebook users. If you need to use anything on Facebook, log in using an incognito or private browser tab or Firefox Focus and log out once you’re done.

In the very least, you’ll have a little bit more privacy and time for more important things.