May 19, 2022

Privacy: “Facebook Scraped Call, Text Message Data For Years From Android Phones” (Not an Issue for iOS Users)

UPDATED March 26: Facebook Says the Phone/Text Data That Was Discovered By Users (Below) was Provided AFTER Users Gave Permission/Opt-In. BE CAREFUL what you approve.

OF Course, It’s Not Just DIRECT Tracking From Facebook/Facebook Apps:
See:  One Does Not Simply Delete Facebook (via AdGuard)

The problem is, even if you delete the Facebook app from your smartphone and never ever again visit their website, you still won’t be able to stop analytics companies from gathering information about you or to control its use. Facebook is secretly present in numerous mobile apps, thanks to a product called Facebook Audience Network.


From Ars Technica:

This past week, a New Zealand man was looking through the data Facebook had collected from him in an archive he had pulled down from the social networking site. While scanning the information Facebook had stored about his contacts, Dylan McKay discovered something distressing: Facebook also had about two years worth of phone call metadata from his Android phone, including names, phone numbers, and the length of each call made or received.


If you granted permission to read contacts during Facebook’s installation on Android a few versions ago—specifically before Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)—that permission also granted Facebook access to call and message logs by default. The permission structure was changed in the Android API in version 16. But Android applications could bypass this change if they were written to earlier versions of the API, so Facebook API could continue to gain access to call and SMS data by specifying an earlier Android SDK version. Google deprecated version 4.0 of the Android API in October 2017—the point at which the latest call metadata in Facebook user’s data was found.

[Our emphasis] Apple iOS has never allowed silent access to call data.

Read the Complete Rreport

Learn How to Download Your Facebook Data 

See Also: Dylan McKay Tweet Referenced in Article

See Also: A March 23, 2018 Tweet by Mat Johnson

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.