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Facebook Messenger Permissions: One Big Question Answered

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Android, In The News, iOS, Smartphones

Vince writes:

So are you paid by FB to smooth things over for them? “This doesn’t mean that you’ve given Facebook permission to turn your phone on or off on a whim.” = BS
Yes you have because the way it is worded legally you just did! “This does not give FB free rein to make phone calls.” = Another lie on your part – Read how it is worded!

There is nothing in the agreement in granting permissions saying “only when you the user uses this function”. If their ultimate goal isn’t to turn your phone on at will to track you and sell the data then why not add a few simple words that would make it legally binding that they only have permission when you personally use said function opposed to anytime?

FB is not the only company pulling this but they are the biggest scumbags involved and anyone trusting them is a moron. Anyone claiming they are safe is either being paid to lie,stupid or just plain untrustworthy!

I wish I was on the Facebook payroll, Vince. I’ve also been accused of being on the take for saying Microsoft had some valid reasons for ending XP support and because I like Windows 8.1. 

I agree that the permissions that social media apps require can seem invasive. They use your behavior to target advertising to you, and in the case of Facebook, promote pages for you to like.  Much the way that Yahoo! Mail (I noticed you have a Yahoo! address) scans your e-mail for keywords and uses them to target advertising to you when you visit the web.  That’s the price we agree to pay for our “free services.”

But I am not lying nor incompetent when I say that the permissions required by Facebook Messenger aren’t any different than the permissions used by the Facebook Mobile App. We actually tested it out by uninstalling the FB mobile app and reinstalling it to look at the permissions. So if you’re using Facebook Mobile without privacy concerns, installing Messenger shouldn’t cause you any more worry. Of course, no Facebook app is mandatory. You can use another messaging app (though the permissions are likely to be very similar) or no messaging apps at all.

The reason that the permissions are so broad for the Android version of this app is that Google requires that permissions be very broad and all-encompassing. For those using the iPhone versions of the app, the permission for using the phone would only come up if they made a call. They could grant the permission then. Google requires Android App permissions to authorize all possibilities before they happen.

I am not saying that anyone should blindly authorize apps permissions or that anyone needs the Facebook App. But if you want to use an app that make phone calls, takes photos and videos and allows you to tag people and location, you have to let access your camera, your phone and your GPS locations to do those functions.  There’s no reason you can’t live a full life without social media or a smart phone.

If you have a smartphone, I’d challenge everyone to go back and read all of the permissions of the apps you’ve already approved. Because free apps aren’t free, they trade in information to target advertising to you.

~ Cynthia

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6 Responses to “Facebook Messenger Permissions: One Big Question Answered”

  1. Dennis Komes says:

    Because of FaceBooks totally invasive agreement, I refuse to install it on my smart phone. I use it only on my laptop that rarely leaves my home. It amazes me when I watch the information and pictures that people post on social media.

  2. Keith Monson says:

    Here’s a thought… If you are sore afraid of it. Don’t install it! You can go to the web browser and access facebook just fine. Sheesh! Some people!

  3. Mrs Karen Buchanan says:

    Without Prejudice and Without Admission:

    Hello, how are you all, Thank you so much for your wonderful tips and everyone’s comments. I have learnt a great deal from you all.
    I am sorry this is such a long letter, but this is what happen to me with Facebook in Jan this year.

    My story is about Facebook:- I signed into my Facebook 8th Jan 2014, from my laptop at home (never goes anywhere), and Facebook said I was signing in from a different location – weird, I thought as I don’t leave my home because I have physical disabilities. Facebook place a security question up, what was my birthdate.
    I contacted Facebook through their site, after much difficulty and they forwarded me the letter/s below:- please read. I have also enclosed my letter which I was very annoyed (sorry).
    They wanted proof of my birthdate, full name, and a coloured photo of myself, but unfortunately when I joined Facebook, many, many, many years ago, one did not have to place their birthday in, let along half the information they want now.
    I hoped I had placed my birthday in, – (hoping), but unfortunately due to not having placed a birthday in many, many, many years ago, I was unsuccessful.
    So hence, to this long story, I am still not allow to access my site on Facebook, which I love to talk to my dear grandchildren and dear family all over the world.
    Yes, I could start up another account, but why ?? being treated the way I was with this small issue, I have decided to use other sources of social media – in Australia.
    Yes, I do understand they were trying to protect their security, but I thought their methods were unforgiveable to an old lady person.

    > Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2014 17:16:09 -0800
    > To:
    > From:
    > Subject: Re: Report a Login Issue
    > Hi,
    > It looks like you’re having trouble accessing your account. Try logging in to Facebook and completing the security check from the computer or mobile phone that you normally use to login to your Facebook account.
    > If you’re still unable to login, please reply to this email with a photo of your government-issued ID.
    > The ID you attach:
    > – Must be government-issued (ex: passport, driver’s license)
    > – Must be in color
    > – Must clearly show your full name, date of birth, and photo
    > If possible, save this file as a JPEG and cover up any personal information that we don’t need to verify your identity (ex: address, license number). Note that we need you to send an appropriate ID before we can take any action on your account. Sorry for the inconvenience.
    > If you’re writing in because your email is being used on a Facebook account that’s not yours, please try to claim this email address by adding it to your current account. You can learn more about how to report this here:
    > Thanks,
    > The Facebook Team
    —–End Original Message—–

    My reply:
    To: Facebook
    Subject: Report a Login Issue

    Hi, (yourself!)

    I will NOT be Handing over any Personal Information to Facebook, especially my licence or
    my passport or any Government Issued information that has my full name, date of birth, or a photo of me on it!
    I will forward this email to the Federal Police in Australia and the Proper Government authorities,
    as you have committed a crime in emailing me and asking me to send you my personal details/ information –
    We call this Identity Thieft!! and Scamming!!

    Facebook you have committed a Very Serious Crime!!

    Facebook you have stooped to an all time Low!

    Close my account immediately!!
    I will report this to the proper authorities!

    2nd Email from Facebook:

    Facebook Security (

    Add to contacts


    Thanks for your response. We understand your caution, but in order to protect the information on the account, we require you to verify your identity by providing a copy of your government-issued photo ID.

    If you’d feel more comfortable uploading your ID through the Help Center, please fill out this form:

    Before you scan or take a picture of your ID, be sure to cover up any personal information that we don’t need (ex: your address, license number, etc).

    Note: we will permanently delete the document you send after we resolve your issue.

    After you submit your ID, please respond directly to this email so we can review your documents and assist you further. To learn more about this process, and what types of IDs we accept, please visit the Help Center:

    If you don’t want to reopen this account, there’s no need to respond to this email. This account will remain locked as a security precaution. Let us know if you have any further questions.


    User Operations

    • cynthia says:


      The different device message can show up sometimes if there’s been some kind of reset or restore on your computer or if your ISP has made some changes. It’s also possible that someone else attempted to log into your Facebook account or actually did manage to log into your Facebook account.

      Actually, in this case I would commend them for keeping an eye on security. It’s important to make sure your verification information is always updated and that you know what you’ve put into the questions.

      Asking for the ID with your information obscured is a pretty good way to verify. If you get the message that you are logging on from a different device and you haven’t been on another device, it’s time to change your password as someone may have hacked your account.

      • Karen says:

        Hi Cynthia, how are you, thank you so much again, I did change my password immediately, after this incident, but still unfortunately Facebook wanted me to still verify my account with my birth date – (as I mentioned, when I first opened my account, one did not need to give a birth date, so therefore there is no birthdate on my account). My ISP server hasn’t changed – I did change over to a new OPS 8 now 8.1 maybe that was the problem, but that was weeks after the incident.
        My Facebook account is just sitting in limbo. (Unfortunately).
        Thank you again, for your great advice – one day Facebook may let be back into my account (wishful thinking).

        Thank you to all your team, for your wonderful advice for us oldies –

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