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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Facebook Defends Its Users’ Privacy

The largest social networking site on the world – Facebook – has became furious with the story published in press, which claimed that the network operators were reading its users’ private messages. Moreover, the hints were that virtually everyone could do the same through some application.

Local media reports claimed that Facebook was using smartphone applications to access text message information in order to be able to spy on users’ text messages. The papers insisted that Facebook itself admitted to be reading its users’ text messages in frames of the test of the network’s messaging service. The press reports also claimed that sensitive data like user location, contacts list, and browser history were also accessed and even transmitted to 3rd-party companies, including intermediaries like advertisers. Of course, the public couldn’t like that.

In response, the representatives of Facebook told in the interview that the story was absolutely wrong and the allegations were both inaccurate and misleading. They pointed out that there was no reading of user text messages available even if on the Android App store, the Facebook application permissions included SMS read or write. The famous network explained that the permissions existed because the company has been performing some testing of products requiring SMS to connect to the Facebook application. However, the company never made any of such features available to the wide public. In other words, the journalists were wrong both on the terminology, and on the suggestion that such feature has been implemented.

The social network service is apparently carrying out a limited test of mobile features that integrate with short messages service functionality. Meanwhile, users should know that SMS read or write isn’t switched on for most users of the mobile application. To face this problem, the industry observers decided to carry out a test. In frames of such test, the experts declared the presence of that functionality within the app store permissions, and if the social network launches any feature making use of the above mentioned permissions, they will ensure it comes with the right kind of guidance for Internet users.

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