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August 12, 2014

Here’s why Facebook Messenger wants your permission to take pictures and videos

Facebook explains why its standalone app, Messenger, is requesting permission to access features on your Android smartphone and tablet.

Facebook received backlash when users, especially those who are concerned about privacy, noticed that its Messenger app is requesting permission to access features on an Android smartphone or tablet. One of those requests is the permission to take pictures and videos, and record audio.

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According to the social media giant, the permissions are used to make sure the app’s features run well.

“Almost all apps need certain permissions to run on Android, and we use these permissions to run features in the app. Keep in mind that Android controls the way the permissions are named, and the way they’re named doesn’t necessarily reflect the way the Messenger app and other apps use them.”

Below is the list of some of the permissions that Facebook requests for the app and examples on how they use each one:

Take pictures and videos: This permission allows you to take photos and videos within the Messenger app to easily send to your friends and other contacts

Record audio: This permission allows you to send voice messages, make free voice calls, and send videos within Messenger

Directly call phone numbers: This permission allows you to call a Messenger contact by tapping on the person’s phone number, found in a menu within your message thread with the person

Receive text messages (SMS): If you add a phone number to your Messenger account, this allows you to confirm your phone number by finding the confirmation code that we send via text message

Read your contacts: This permission allows you to add your phone contacts as Messenger contacts if you choose to do so. You can always stop syncing your phone contacts by going to your Messenger settings

We experimented with the permissions on the Messenger app on our Android smartphone to see how it would impact usability if we decline some of it. We declined permissions to take pictures and videos and the result is that the app crashes every time you take a photo directly from the app. We gave back the permission and the feature worked as advertised.

Hit the source link below for more details on the app’s permissions and how Facebook uses them.

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10 Responses to “Here’s why Facebook Messenger wants your permission to take pictures and videos”

  1. name says:

    seriously anong pinagkaiba ng permissions ng fb messenger sa ibang messengers like wechat, viber etc? halos parehas lang sila ng permissions ah. ginawang issue lang ito ng isang writer, sinakyan naman ng maraming tech blogs. ito naman si tanga, napraning agad ni hindi man lang nag-usisa

  2. Duh says:

    Meaning it is our fault if the messenger app crashes just because we decline those stupid permissions?

    For me, their primary reason is to collect personal data and store them in their malicious database.

    • rei says:

      wow, you are one over(acting) PARANOID being arent you? Maybe you also think that your neighbors are part of a secret government organization sent to spy on you and steal whatever it is your so adamant in protecting. Maybe they want to take a picture of your dog? or cat maybe? a goldfish? If I were you, I’ll throw them all away even your pets, you may never know the CIA or whatever may have trained them. Oh kill your parents and siblings too if you have any, they might not be your real parents, they might be operatives tasked to guard you because you may never know you MIGHT be a national asset, you… you important person you.

    • testUser says:

      sus.. edi wag mo gamitin.. wala namang pumipilit sayo.. magfriendster ka na lang..

  3. protruska says:

    Sa tingin ko parang nanghihingi lang ng permission yung application to use the functions of your smartphone. It is not stated that they will remotely use your camera, audio recorder etc. Permission to use the functions is entirely different from remotely using the functions.

    • Duh says:

      And you have no choice but to accept the permissions and once you get in you are already trapped and you are unaware of that. Facebook is not the only one, there are so many malicious messengers and apps who’s job is to steal your personal data without your consent. Skilled programmers know the dirty work of the bad guys.

  4. Hen-Sheen says:

    “Hello! I’m an Iphone and I’m an Android!” Permissions? What is M. Zukerberg up to? He’s being satirical in making this app too “user friendly” isn’t it!? Didn’t Facebook learn anything from Eric the Snowman? If this app works like that XBOX1 camera, then I would go back using my imagination; no pun intended! Out of Topic: Robin Williams, thank you for the memories! You made us laugh & cry. From Hook to Mrs. Doubtfire, the 20th century never looked so brighter!

  5. AA says:

    Madali lang yan. Kung di nyo gusto, huwag nyo install. Mag feature phone nalang rin kung napapraning na may mag-spy sa inyo.

  6. Zobel says:

    3rd party apps na ginagamit ko pang FB. Grabe maka consume ng resources main app nila.

  7. Prel says:

    Dude, at first.. They are asking for your permission in order to install, you have to agree. It’s fairly your choice. There will always be a consequence once you won’t agree. It’s like saying, “To enter this site, you have to be 18 above” and if you are not well then, you can’t access. Seriously, what’s the big deal about it.

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