The most popular social network and leading data company, Facebook, has found itself in yet another controversy for prying into personal user data and exhibiting poor privacy control.
Recently, an Android user caught Facebook’s official app trying to ‘take over’ his smartphone device by requesting Superuser access.
A Facebook bug is generating requests for ‘Superuser’ permissions to access user's devices!
This is not going to go down well.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) May 18, 2018
What is Superuser Access?
This is a big deal. When an app gets Superuser access in an Android device it can change, edit, and access all types of data present in the device from personal files to hardware configurations such as the microphone, camera, and even various sensors.
If you’ve heard of “rooting an Android phone”, then the term Superuser access is related to it because when you root your device, you get access to its internals not usually accessible on an unrooted device.
Most people do this to get more control over their smartphones so they can change the software, hardware configurations, themes, and other aspects.
Do they collect those info? pic.twitter.com/Q6GRjKcgw7
— Nikolaos Chrysaidos (@virqdroid) May 18, 2018
Facebook app’s recent attempt to further invade its user’s Android devices was actually a bug, it was caused when the company added a new update to the app for its anti-fraud AI that takes care of fake news and such.
The company responded,
A coding error in one of our anti-fraud systems caused a small number of people running the Facebook app and certain permission management apps on rooted Android phones to see a request for additional access permissions. We do not need or want these permissions, and we have already fixed this issue. We apologize for any confusion.
Facebook has fixed it, for now, however, this bug surfaced when Facebook is already under fire since the Cambridge Analytica scandal that put its ineffective privacy control under a spotlight.