Facebook was storing your call and SMS logs for years

As Facebook faces the situation of misuse of user’s data by Cambridge Analytica, the data collection ways of the social media giant are carefully examined. On careful examination of data gathered by Facebook and information of user’s stored on it, some users found that Facebook stored call logs and SMS. It has even stored duration of calls. There is something called ‘Download a copy of Facebook archive’ available on Facebook. After discovering this archive, users found their call logs and SMS stored in it.

You can yourself check if your call logs and SMS are stored on Facebook by following these simple steps:

  • Click upside down arrow on the top right of any Facebook page.>>
  • Select settings from it.>>
  • Click on Download a copy of your Facebook data.>>
  • Click on Start My Archive !!
  • When the download is ready, Facebook will mail you your archive.

Why and How Facebook stores data?

According to Facebook spokesperson, this information was basically stored to make it easy for users to connect find people they usually connect. This is understandable, but he did not explain why Facebook needs metadata to be stored. Metadata such as call duration, time, missed calls, etc. Basically, android permissions played a huge role for sharing user’s data. Android permissions are really uncertain and shares metadata with anyone who asks. Facebook did ask everything. During installation of Facebook, sharing of contact is initially requested.

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Android Permission Structure

According to the Android permission structure, it can be interpreted that Facebook knowingly took advantage of the Android “permission structure” to store user’s data. This data is used for the betterment of the company itself for developing new features and updates. Earlier, Google fixed the permissions in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. But an older SDK version was still able to access call and messaging logs. Facebook did the same till October 2017 when Google fixed permissions. But an older Android SDK version was still an issue. Apple has an improved and secure permission structure.

So, this is not an issue for iOS users. iOS users are totally away from this issue of data privacy. It can be said that Facebook made use of older SDK as they wanted older Android versions to use Facebook. But, was this done with an intention to store users’ data?

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