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Facebook may have been collecting information on your calls and texts for years

Facebook has been the target of intense grievance over the way it stocks information with third-party firms, and the social media massive may know more about customers than prior to now idea.

The corporate reportedly stored logs of calls and textual content messages made by way of customers with Android devices, the tech blog Ars Technica reported Saturday. The issue was once found out when one user tweeted that after he downloaded his information from Facebook FB, +zero.42%  , it included call and texts logs from his telephone for a minimum of a yr.

Facebook permits customers to download an archive of the information it’s amassed about them; customers can request the archive in Facebook’s Settings phase.

Other Android customers have made identical court cases. One stated Facebook had a historical report of the time, date and length of each and every telephone dialog he had with his spouse’s mom for over a yr. The issue appears to just impact Android customers as a result of Apple devices don’t permit third-party apps like Facebook to get entry to call and message information.

A Facebook spokesperson didn't respond without delay to an inquiry in regards to the logs, however directed MarketWatch to a Sunday blog put up wherein the corporate denied logging call and textual content history. Facebook stated the information amassed comprises best time stamps of when calls and texts are made, now not the contents of the calls, and stated that it doesn’t sell this knowledge to advertisers. The corporate says it collects the information to make it easier for customers to touch buddies.

“The maximum vital a part of apps and products and services that assist you to make connections is to make it easy to search out the folk you need to connect with,” a Facebook spokesperson informed Ars Technica. “So, the primary time you check in to your telephone to a messaging or social app, it’s a widely used apply to begin by way of importing your telephone contacts.”

Although the corporate best collects timestamps, or metadata, at the logs, a lot can also be derived from such knowledge, tech professionals warn. Metadata, especially when combined with different knowledge readily to be had to Facebook, can also be “a formidable software,” stated David Gorbet, vp of engineering at information corporate MarkCommon sense.

“Metadata is actually now the crown jewels for the undertaking,” he stated. “It can tell you what the content is, who created it, who’s used it, who modified it, and a lot more, permitting firms to find relationships between information, more carefully track a person’s activities, and many others., for instance what time they're normally at the telephone or textual content other people, et cetera.”

The Federal Trade Commission is these days investigating Facebook’s “misuse” of the information of 50 million customers, which was once bought to information research company Cambridge Analytica and reportedly utilized by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.