Facebook has said that it does not save call and text data of Android users without their permission, adding the practice is “widely used” with users having an option to opt-out from it.
Facebook was replying to several media reports which claimed that the social media giant was saving the call and text data of Android users for years.
A report in technology website Ars Technica said that Android cellphone users have noticed that Facebook has saved a virtual trove of their personal call data.
“This past week, a New Zealand man was looking through the data Facebook had collected from him in an archive he had pulled down from the social networking site,” the report said.
“While scanning the information Facebook had stored about his contacts, Dylan McKay discovered that Facebook also had about two years’ worth of phone call metadata from his Android phone, including names, phone numbers, and the length of each call made or received,” the report added.
However, a Facebook spokesperson pointed out that the call log was “a widely used practice to begin by uploading your phone contacts”.
The spokesperson added that users give their consent by uploading their contacts, a function that’s optional. People can also delete contact data from their profiles by using a tool available on Web browsers, Facebook stated.
Later, Facebook issued a statement saying, “You may have seen some recent reports that Facebook has been logging people’s call and SMS (text) history without their permission. This is not the case.”
Facebook even explained how users could opt out from giving the social media giant permission to log the contacts.
“When you sign up for Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android, or log into Messenger on an Android device, you are given the option to continuously upload your contacts as well as your call and text history,” the company said.
“For Messenger, you can either turn it on, choose ‘learn more’ or ‘not now’. On Facebook Lite, the options are to turn it on or ‘skip’. If you chose to turn this feature on, we will begin to continuously log this information,” Facebook added.
The tech giant also said that its users’ information is securely stored and is not sold to third parties.
“You are always in control of the information you share with Facebook,” it said.