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26 Mar 2018

Here’s how to stop Facebook logging all of your calls and texts

Horrified Facebook users have realised that the social network isn’t just reading their posts and sniffing around their ‘Likes’ – it’s logging all their calls and texts.
Mark Zuckerberg
Nothing escapes Mark Zuckerberg’s all-seeing eye – with some Android users finding that the network stores complete logs of incoming and outgoing calls and texts. One user, Dylan McKay downloaded his Facebook data and found that from October 2016 to July 2017, the network had logged every single one of his calls.
Mat Johnson said that he downloaded his file to find that the social network had data on every single call he had made for a year.

Facebook issued an official statement saying that the ‘feature’ was opt-in and offering instructions on how to switch off the constant surveillance of users’ phone calls. To turn it off (and make Facebook delete your data), go the Messenger app on Android, then tap your profile picture.
Then select ‘People’, then ‘Sync Contacts’ – and turn it off. Facebook said, ‘ People have to expressly agree to use this feature.

If, at any time, they no longer wish to use this feature they can turn it off in settings, or here for Facebook Lite users, and all previously shared call and text history shared via that app is deleted.

‘While we receive certain permissions from Android, uploading this information has always been opt-in only.’ Facebook says it never sells on this information.

The social network says, ‘If, at any point, you no longer wish to continuously upload this information, you can easily turn this feature off in your settings. ‘You can also turn off continuous call and text history logging while keeping contact uploading enabled. ‘You can also go to this page to see which contacts you have uploaded from Messenger, and you can delete all contact information you’ve uploaded from that app should you choose.’

If you’re worried, there’s several steps you can take to make your profile more private – or you can go the whole hog and deactivate or delete your account. Thankfully, Facebook has made this much simpler.

‘Deactivating’ an account (found under Settings), lets you deactivate your account temporarily – but you can reactivate it simply by logging in.

It means your hide your profile and photos will no longer appear in Search, and your name will be ‘greyed out’. The account can be reactivated, and some interactions (such as comments on other people’s pages) may still be visible.

To do it, click account settings at the top right of any Facebook page (in the desktop version, select Settings, then General,Manage your account.

Scroll down to click Deactivate your account. If that’s not enough, you can delete it altogether – although you won’t be able to get your data back again.

From Facebook’s menus, it appears as if deactivating an account is the closest Facebook will let you get to deletion – but it’s actually possible to delete your account entirely.

First, save your information, by going to Settings, then the menu option, Download a copy of your Facebook data (below your General Account Settings), then Start My Archive.

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