The recent data scandal surrounding Facebook deepened on Monday when it was revealed that the social network is harvesting much more information than many users realised.
Android users took to Twitter after discovering that Facebook has been storing complete logs of incoming and outgoing calls and SMS.
After downloading the entire amount of data Facebook stores on him, user Dylan McKay found that between October 2016 and July 2017, the social network logged every single one of his calls.
Downloaded my facebook data as a ZIP file
Somehow it has my entire call history with my partner’s mum pic.twitter.com/CIRUguf4vD
— Dylan McKay (@dylanmckaynz) March 21, 2018
Another user, Mat Johnson, also confirmed that after downloading the file containing his Facebook data, the social network had also logged all the calls he made during throughout a year.
Download your Facebook account .zip off their site, unzip it, then go to the HTML folder, open the contact_info.htm file. See records of who you’ve talked to on your cell—not with the app, just on your regular cellphone—and for how long. https://t.co/l9BDEJu3Hx
— Mat Johnson (@mat_johnson) March 23, 2018
You can find out how to download the file containing all your Facebook data here.
Facebook later issued a statement saying the feature was opt in and provide instructions on how to stop the Messenger app from from keeping a record of all your calls.
To turn of the feature and make sure Facebook DELETES all your call data you need to:
- Open the Messenger app
- Tap on your profile picture
- Then select People > Sync Contacts > and turn the feature off
“People have to expressly agree to use this feature. If, at any time, they no longer wish to use this feature they can turn it off in settings, or here for Facebook Lite users, and all previously shared call and text history shared via that app is deleted.
“While we receive certain permissions from Android, uploading this information has always been opt-in only.”
In its statement Facebook added that it never sells the call data.
“If, at any point, you no longer wish to continuously upload this information, you can easily turn this feature off in your settings”, Facebook said.
“You can also turn off continuous call and text history logging while keeping contact uploading enabled. You can also go to this page to see which contacts you have uploaded from Messenger, and you can delete all contact information you’ve uploaded from that app should you choose.”