Facebook has been tackling a major debacle relating to user privacy and data security recently, which flared up in a big way when it was discovered the amount of data it collects pertaining to SMS data and call history.
It was reported recently that Facebook has been collecting a wide range of data pertaining to call history and SMS data, what the company clarified as being an “opt-in” situation for Messenger and Android Lite for Android. The idea, at least based on Facebook’s comments, was to help improve the algorithm meant to help users get friend recommendations. And while the data collection was certainly opt-in, a lot of Android users were troubled to find out just how much data Facebook was collecting as far back as three years.
But, in light of all the backlash the social network has received, Facebook is making changes. The company outlined several changes it will be making soon, including the fact it will be reducing the amount of data it collects in relation to SMS and call history. It’s not going to stop collecting the data altogether, and it will remain opt-in, but it will simply be rolling back how much data it picks up.
“Call and text history is part of an opt-in feature for people using Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android. This means we can surface the people you most frequently connect with at the top of your contact list. We’ve reviewed this feature to confirm that Facebook does not collect the content of messages — and will delete all logs older than one year. In the future, the client will only upload to our servers the information needed to offer this feature — not broader data such as the time of calls.”
There’s definitely no reason why Facebook needed to track as much data as it was, and especially not as far back as it was allowed. So it’s good that the company is making the necessary change moving forward.[via Facebook Newsroom]