We’ve published a few articles in the past couple of weeks that address concerns over the permissions required in Facebook Messenger. We said that the permissions required for Messenger are no different that the permissions required for the standard Facebook Mobile app.
If you were comfortable with the permissions you had already allowed for Facebook Mobile, there was no reason to be nervous about the same permissions for Messenger.
I am more than willing to admit that apps like Facebook do want to know a lot about you. Like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and any other free service, they trade in your information which they use to target advertising to you. Whether you are comfortable with apps tracking your location or knowing about your contacts, is completely up to you.
But just to show that the permissions are exactly the same, my fellow writer Audra and I tried a little experiment. Audra installed both apps on her phone, taking screen shots of the permissions.
You will notice that Messenger does ask to be able to edit and send text messages, where FB only asks permission to read them. This is because you can compose text messages and send them with the messenger app. The Facebook Mobile app actually asks for more permissions than Messenger. That makes sense, since Facebook Mobile needs to perform more activities.
Should you authorize the kinds of permissions that a social media app like Facebook requires? That’s up to you. I am willing to do so in exchange for the convenience Facebook provides to me. But if you are outraged by the Messenger permissions, but are currently using the Facebook app, that probably means you authorized that app without reading the permissions.
So before you just tick that box to accept permissions on an app, read them.