SMS go-aheads under scanner (Image credit: Reuters)
“Over the last few days there has been a constant scrutiny over Facebook having access to your SMS. Buried within the latest update for Facebook’s Android app is a feature that is causing growing concern among some users,” Kaspersky held in an announcement today. The social media’s cogency behind the very act of pursuing access to SMS stands that- if you prefix a phone number to your account, this lets them to ratify your number spontaneously by means of finding the validation code within a text message. This is the same “modus operandi” of sorts, used by innumerable apps, counting Whatsapp to corroborate your phone number at the time of setting up.
The restructured Facebook application at this instant needs to read calendar events coupled with intimate information which it rationalizes; as it is obligatory to permit the app en route for showing your calendar availability (based on your phone’s calendar) when you’re viewing any occasion on Facebook.
“Two-factor authentication provides an extra level of security, so it’s good to see Facebook providing this option … As a final note, we’d urge people to carefully check the permissions requested by any app when you first install it,” Kaspersky Lab’s Principal Security Researcher David Emm alleged. Kaspersky supplemented that the permissions also bequests entree to multimedia messages, for which the motive is not unequivocally specified.
It articulated trepidation on the term ‘automatic’ used in the permission required by Facebook. “The key, it seems to lie in the word ‘automatically’. Surely the app doesn’t need to do this automatically. Facebook could simply prompt me to type in the code manually. Or, at the very least, provide this option,” Kaspersky believed.
It added that this may be an innocent feature but in the light of mounting disquiets looming around online privacy skin to some proverbial “Sword of Damocles,” such an alternative would aid to alleviate people’s qualms. It must be distinguished that just because Facebook has the acquiescence to read your SMSes, it does not mean that all SMSes will be under the purview of the app. The social media company on its website assumed: “Keep in mind that Android controls the way the permissions are named, and the way they’re named doesn’t necessarily reflect the way the Facebook app uses them. We realise that some of these permissions sound scary, so we’d like to provide more info about how we use them.”
On the matter of go-ahead sought by Android to access information and revise feature in user’s phone, Google has formerly held, “It’s an app which you (user) have a choice of installing.”