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Facebook’s reach into its users’ data wants to track your calls on device, just seems to keep growing

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Stop the laughter for a moment. This isn’t a joke. Facebook is serious.

Facebook’s reach into its users’ data wants to track your calls on device, just seems to keep growing

Facebook wants to you to spend $199 to $349 to install its version of a connected, talking video speaker – such as Amazon’s Echo – into your home. It has a camera that follows you as you move for video calls and the ability to track what you’re doing.

When you download Facebook’s app, it asks for access to your phone contacts, which it uses for its friend-recommendation algorithm. It now makes clear that it wants access to call logs and SMS logs as well, but in the past, Android users may have given Facebook access to this data unknowingly, as a result of the way Android dealt with asking permission for call logs.

The call and SMS tracking that stores who you talked to and when appears to have only impacted Android users. On Android, Facebook continually tracks the information for users that choose to use their contact data in Messenger and Messenger Lite. iOS users can also sync their contacts to the messaging platform.

The good news? Facebook says the content of calls or text messages is not saved. Facebook also says that the data isn’t shared with third parties. And even better, users can delete the data that Facebook already has.

Inside the Messenger app, users can navigate to the home icon and then tap on their profile picture in the upper left corner. Inside the “people” option, users can switch off the option that says “sync contacts.” Facebook says that when the sync contacts option is turned off, previous contact information that was synced to the messaging platform is also deleted.

Users can also navigate to the contact page to see a list of the people added to Messenger as a result of that sync. From this page, users can also choose to delete all the contacts previously synced as well. Users that want to see just what data Facebook has on them can download a copy inside the General Account Settings.

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