Facebook collected phone call, text message data: report

Facebook collected users' phone call and text message data for two years, according to a report from Ars Technica. 

The news outlet cites various Facebook users who discovered the social media platform scraped metadata from their Android smartphones. 

The data reported included the names of contacts, phone numbers, call lengths and SMS and MMS metadata. 

 

 

Facebook responded in a blog post on Sunday, saying it has not been logging users' call and SMS history without permission. 

"Call and text history logging is part of an opt-in feature for people using Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android. This helps you find and stay connected with the people you care about and provides you with a better experience across Facebook," the company said. 

"People have to expressly agree to use this feature. If, at any time, they no longer wish to use this feature they can turn it off in settings ... and all previously shared call and text history shared via that app is deleted. While we receive certain permissions from Android, uploading this information has always been opt-in only," it continued. 

"We introduced this feature for Android users a couple of years ago. Contact importers are fairly common among social apps and services as a way to more easily find the people you want to connect with. This was first introduced in Messenger in 2015, and later offered as an option in Facebook Lite, a lightweight version of Facebook for Android."

The social media giant has been under intense scrutiny this month after it was revealed that British data research firm Cambridge Analytica took the personal information of 50 million Facebook users without their permission. 

Its shares dropped 14 percent last week, while the public has lashed out using the hashtag "Delete Facebook."

Facebook founder and CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergChina may be copying Facebook to build an intelligence weapon Facebook announces verification to images and video on platform Hillicon Valley: North Korean IT firm hit with sanctions | Zuckerberg says Facebook better prepared for midterms | Big win for privacy advocates in Europe | Bezos launches B fund to help children, homeless MORE apologized to users last week and admitted the company made mistakes in its dealings with Cambridge Analytica.