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Use Facebook Messenger? You won't believe how they track you

Use Facebook Messenger? You won't believe how they track you
Pete Chase

Embattled, bruised and bloodied but the hits just keep on coming for Facebook, aren't they?

In the shadow of the Cambridge Analytica hubbub, the social media giant has been scrutinized, demonized, criticized and Zucker punched left and right for its mishandling of user data.

But the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, where this large data analytics firm is being accused of having pilfered the data of over 87 million Facebook users acquired through a third-party app was just the beginning.

That's only what we are hearing.

From leaked internal memos to outdated privacy settings, Facebook is currently in damage control mode, hoping for the day that all the punches and kicks will just go away. Unfortunately for the company, today is not that day. Nope. Not yet.

While you are reading this story, listen to what two top privacy litigators say. It's shocking!

Is Mark Zuckerberg still the best man to run Facebook? Listen below to learn why he says so.

 

Is Facebook tracking your private Messenger messages too?

Add this little tidbit to the growing list of trust issues hurled at the social media giant.

In a podcast interview with Vox editor Ezra Klein, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recalled a story of how his staff informed him that Facebook's Messenger was blocking "sensational" instant messages pertaining to the ethnic cleansing happening in Myanmar.

Zuckerberg lauded Messenger's self-policing system and said "in that case, our systems detect what's going on. We stop those messages from going through."

Now, although the censorship and filtering of questionable content in Facebook proper are within the company's terms of use and community standards, the blocking of private Messenger messages seems to be troubling to many.

This is raising questions (yet again) on how much monitoring does Facebook employ even in their private messaging platform. How much of our private Messenger messages is Facebook using (and selling) to advertisers and data firms?

Facebook's response - Is it enough?

In response to the concerns, Facebook later told Bloomberg that "while Messenger conversations are private, Facebook scans them and uses the same tools to prevent abuse."

This means Messenger posts are still subject to the same censorship systems that Facebook has in place - user reporting, manual review by Facebook's content team and automated filtering.

“For example, on Messenger, when you send a photo, our automated systems scan it using photo matching technology to detect known child exploitation imagery or when you send a link, we scan it for malware or viruses,” Facebook explained in an official statement.“Facebook designed these automated tools so we can rapidly stop abusive behavior on our platform.”

What does this imply?

Within the privacy issues surrounding Facebook nowadays, concerns about how they use Messenger data is a legitimate concern.

See if Facebook is actively scanning your private messages too, what's stopping them from using these messages for targeted advertising as well?

Your Messenger data is technically part of your Facebook dossier so the potential for abuse does exist. How about encrypted Messenger chats? Are they proactively scanning those too?

Note: In case you didn't know, Messenger does have an option to encrypt your messages but you have to turn it on manually.

Still, Facebook insists that it does not use any of the scanned messages for advertising purposes nor do they listen to voice, and video calls.

To clear the air, the company recently updated its data policy to better inform the public about all the information it collects across all of its properties, including Messenger and Instagram.

It's clearly a defensive move but is it enough to diffuse all the trust issues that are surrounding Facebook right now?

How about you? What do think? Can you still trust Facebook with your information? Listen to the podcast below to hear how your information is now more valuable than ever and why more of us have lost trust in Facebook. You be the judge.

Facebook's new free tool to remove spy third-party apps is a must do

If nothing else, you have to give Facebook credit for giving the appearance of trying. Life in a post-Cambridge Analytica world has not been easy for them, and steps have been taken to try and regain our trust. Now, thanks to Facebook, we can now remove our third-party apps in bulk. Click here to read how.

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