Over the past few days, Facebook has rolled out a mandate for their mobile users to start messaging on their separate app, Facebook Messenger. In the process, someone took the time to check out the terms and conditions that go along with the app, and what they contain – access to contacts, current location and other personal data – has resulted in a wave of unnecessary pandemonium.
What’s important to note here is that Facebook Messenger isn’t unique in this need for permissions. In fact, most social apps – if not all of them – require certain permissions from you in order to function the way you want them to. There is nothing in their terms that you can’t find in the terms for the base Facebook app, Dropbox, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Google Chrome or a ton of other apps you probably already have on your phone.
To see what we mean (on your iPhone), go to Settings > Privacy and tap through the permissions. Personally, I have 11 apps that already have access to my photos (and I don’t have Facebook Messenger) and over 20 apps that have access to my location. Why? Because they need that level of access to give me the experience that I expect in those apps. Am I worried that someone is going to use my photos against me? Nope. To help put your worries to rest, I came across a great article that debunks all the hype and explains the truth behind each concern.
Finally, Facebook Messenger is optional. You have a choice. If you don’t agree with their level of access, just don’t install it. I won’t, only because it’s a battery killer. But once again, that’s not unique – messenger apps are notorious for draining your battery. Now can we all just move on from this?