London’s Sunday Times claimed that Facebook admitted to reading the text messages that were being sent by their users. They weren’t talking about the text messages that are were sent via their “messages” application, but the actual SMS messages that were sent between your cellphone and another person’s cellphone. They claimed that Facebook was reading the SMS messages of the users who downloaded their Facebook app onto their smart phones, which could be millions of people.
According to the Sunday times, “Facebook” claims that it was doing it for research so they can launch their Facebook messaging service, but the article was not very clear as to when or even IF this actually happened. The article quoted several sources but they were not named. According to TechCrunch a Facebook spokesperson speaking to ZDNet said there is “no reading of user text messages.” Facebook says the Times piece is “completely wrong” but says the Facebook Android application permissions require SMS read and write capabilities.
Facebook said that lots of communications apps use these permissions, and the application technically has the capability to integrate with the phone’s SMS system, but added that it is for testing purposes. The company did not respond to the claim that the Times “admitted” to reading text messages, however.
Shortly after Facebook released this statement, the Sunday Times article was taken down, at least that’s what it seems like when you click on the link. So good job Times, you just completely paranoid a whole bunch of people that were sending text messages about the upcoming parties.