Facebook Can Read Your Text Messages!

Facebook is accused of accessing, reading and having the ability to write text messages on your Android smartphone with Facebook app installed on it.

Scoop was first reported by The Sunday Times (link needs subscription) saying Facebook has admitted to paper that it accessed users’ text messages for a test feature that company is planning to introduce in future.

Check below list of permissions you approve before downloading Facebook App for Android phones:


In response to Business Insider’s query, Facebook denied the report. It said:

There is no reading of user text messages.

On the Android App store, the Facebook app permissions include SMS read/write.

The reason it is on there is because we have done some testing (not with the general public) of products that require the SMS part of the phone to talk to the Facebook App.  That’s what the read&write refers to – the line of communication needed to integrate the two things.

Anyway – we have yet to make any such features available to the public. (so the Sunday Times is completely wrong when it says Facebook is reading people’s SMS. Wrong on the terminology, and wrong on the suggestion that it has been implemented).

But Facebook is right to insert this into the Android app permissions  – because yes, the app technically has the capability to integrate with the phone’s SMS system – even if that is just for our own testing.

Clearly Facebook looks dumb here. It didn’t clarify that why its Android App asks for text message read/write permission when the feature (that they are talking about) isn’t available to general public at all.

Privacy on Smartphones is becoming the next biggest issue for the world. Handheld devices store most private and confidential data, which is accurate at the same time, can get exposed to exploiters with just a single click without any option of undoing it.

    • Looks like Facebook wins for creating a service + application that people feel they need to use, despite the privacy issues.

      Anyway, I think this is blown out of proportion. Don’t you think Mobilink/Telenor/Zong/Ufone/etc can read your messages? And yet, you don’t worry about that. They don’t even give you a privacy policy. What if based on the messages you send/receive they target ads at you?

      • 1. As long as mobile phone operators, Secret agencies are concerned, we can not stop them to interfere with our privacy and read our messages or listen to our phone calls. After all the Constitution of our country (also called Supreme Law of any Land)has NEVER been respected and always violated (Life, liberty and privacy of a person is guaranteed by a Law which is found only in books and rarely respected ONLY when personal interests of the ruling elite are questioned, i.e. indemnity, etc.).

        2. FaceBook, Twitter, etc. I have a simple question, “Why we can’t live without FaceBook and Twitter?” I deleted my accounts from these “Bull-Sh…t” websites and I am NOT facing any problem in breathing, drinking water, or eating food and living. Infact, the time which I wasted on these time-wasting sites, is now saved and I can easily spend those precious hours with my family, friends and ofcourse for ownself also.

        • Your point #2 indicates your feeling of low worth of internet sites that generate billions of dollars a year and have no heavy competitors. The fact of the matter is, it costs people the price of 1 computer, 1 ups, 1 internet connection to make money online. Lots of people have the resources to do that. Few people have resources to set up factories or carpenter shops or tailor shops or anything like that. Not everyone can go to NUST and become an Eletronics Engineer.

          For you, they are a waste of time. For other people, they are 100% free platforms to promote their products. You dont want to partake? Don’t! Be isolated!

    • If it can read your SMS messages, it can upload them to the company and they can do (automated) analysis of things like which people you communicate with most often, etc. And use that to change what your facebook.com homepage displays (more stories from people you communicate with more, etc)

  • What Privacy ??? Dont worry … u r being tracked by the giants like facebook, twitter, google etc. They are working in the domain of gathering huge data from users and applying data mining techniques to discover patterns regarding your likes/dislikes your online usage behavior, so they can manipulate you in a better way…your every click is being tracked.

    This is 21st century internet …
    your privacy ?
    Email — handled by google
    social network — handled by google
    search engine — handled by google
    online office — handled by google
    online apps == handled by google

    What privacy could you ask for ???

  • This is actually a big issue related to user piracy. One’s information is not safe here, any one can exploit it for own use. Big companies need to win the trust of their subscribers/ costumers.

  • @Hand-some
    ‘this app can, facebook.com can’t’

    Q.who’s the maker of this app???

    hence proved facebook.com can READ/EDIT ur SMS

    very childish thinking

  • What nonsense news you make.
    It says that Facebook may read when required. It does not say that it will ready all the messages or anonymously.

  • Bohat porani hogai yeh baat janab, jab ap android main facebook app install kar rahay hotay hain tab he permissions main ata hai k permission to read messages.

    Koi bhe android app install karte waqt yeh zaroor daikh laina chahiye kat woh kya kya access karne ki permission mang raha hai, usually log permission access read kiyay baghair accept kar laite hain download.

  • Propakistani just hates facebook, but still use it. No matter how many articles you post against facebook, your jealousy will constantly grow.

  • I think Most of them Android softwares, required your permission to access your privacy data before installing them.

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