Kaspersky claims that the latest Facebook app for Android wants to read a user’s SMS and other confidential information.
If you install the Facebook app on any Android device, the app asks for a set of permissions including ‘Read your text messages (SMS or MMS)’, ‘Add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owners’ knowledge’ and ‘Read calendar events plus confidential information’.
Facebook acknowledges that asking for such permissions is scary, but reveals that they are for users’ convenience. In case of permission to read SMS, Facebook said that it “allows us to confirm your phone number automatically by finding the confirmation code that we send via text message.” In case of add or modify calendar events without owners’ knowledge Facebook says that it “allows you to see your Facebook events in your phone’s calendar.”
Finally in case of ‘Read calendar events plus confidential information’ Facebook says that ‘This allows the app to show your calendar availability (based on your phone’s calendar) when you’re viewing an event on Facebook.’
Kaspersky is sceptical about these permissions and revealed that “Over the last few days there has been a constant scrutiny over Facebook having access to your SMS. Buried within the latest update for Facebook’s Android app is a feature that is causing growing concern among some users.”
Kaspersky states that there is no need to seek such permissions and Facebook could simply prompt users to enter the confirmation code manually. The security company also notes that the app requests access to MMS (multimedia messages) for which there is no explanation.