Why I don’t use the Facebook app on my phone…

I admit, it is (believe me) very nice to ONLY get Facebook notifications when you want them. I have also, for that very specific reason, switched off email alerts for Facebook events – if I want to know what’s happening in Facebook, I will open their web interface.

But, first of all, because the list of things Facebook reserves the right to access and even modify on my phone is so insane, there is not a word to describe it.

Facebook wants to read all my SMS/MMS messages, it wants to call phone numbers AND it wants to be capable of read and even write my call log (thereby potentially removing calls it made itself from my call log… think about it), it wants to read and modify my calendar items and send emails to guests without my knowledge, and it wants to be capable of using my camera and microphone whenever it pleases.

It also wants to read, modify and delete the contents of my internal and even USB storage, it wants to be capable of reading and modifying my contacts, it wants full network access and change my network connectivity, and it wants me to allow it to set my wallpaper (full-screen ads, anyone?). It also wants to be able to create accounts and set passwords.

Oh, and it says that updates may automatically add additional capabilities.

Seriously. Selling your soul to the devil is probably a better idea than agreeing with this.

“Your privacy and security are important to us, and we want you to feel confident that you can use the application freely.” Sure… that’s what I’d say too, because, otherwise, how would I get you to allow me to give you access to all this data?

I wouldn’t be amazed if running this app alongside your mobile banking app would violate the terms of service. And if it doesn’t, it bloody well should.

Maybe it’s about time we get the opportunity to deploy folder level security on our smartphones…

Coincidentally, just today I discovered Yet Another Alternative for the Book of Faces, but that is material for another writeup.

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