In the wake of Facebook’s scandal that allowed advertisers to gather and use more of your data than expected, a new report claims Facebook harvested call logs and text logs when users opted into sharing contacts. This is one of the reasons people are deleting Facebook. Here’s what you need to know and how to turn off Facebook’s access to your contacts.
Ars Technica offers a deep look into this practice with data showing that if you allowed Facebook access to your contacts in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean the company could also get your call logs and text logs by default. This loophole remained open until October 2017. The report indicates that Apple did not allow the data collection.
Facebook states, that they did track this information, with permission from users when they turned on contact syncing in the Messenger app or on Facebook Lite. You can see an example of this in the screenshot above showing that turning on contact sync will allow continuous uploading of phone numbers and nicknames as well as call and text history.
How to Turn off Facebook Contact, Call and Text Access
If you want to turn off this access, you can do it on your Android phone. You can make the change on your iPhone as well, but Facebook does not have access to the call logs or text logs.
- Open Messenger on Your Phone.
- Tap on Your Profile Picture.
- Scroll down and Tap on People.
- Tap on Synced Contacts.
- Turn Setting to Off.
Once this is done you will need to repeat it on any other Android phones you use or Android tablets that you use. Facebook specifically states that you need to turn this off on all devices you are using to sync messages on.
How to Delete Contacts from Facebook
You can also go in and delete the contacts you’ve synced to Facebook. This is best done on the web, but you can do it from inside the Messenger app right after you turn off access if that is easier.
- On the web, go to this webpage and login to Facebook.
- Click on Delete All
- Click on Delete All Again.
You will then see a message saying your imported contacts are being deleted. This may take a little time. If you left sync enabled on any of your devices, the contacts will appear again soon.
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