New Facebook App Feature Activates Your Phone’s Mic When You Post

facebook-mobileJust when you thought that Facebook had reached the height of privacy invading evil, they find a new trick to make you think that they may be worse than the NSA. A recent Facebook mobile app update includes a hidden little feature that activates your phones microphone when you’re writing a post, listens to what’s going on the room and includes what you’re up to in your post.

The feature, that works in the same way that Shazam works, identifies what music you’re listening to or TV show or movie you’re watching and appends that information to your post.

Facebook is coming out on the defensive on this one. They’ve noted that the feature is opt-in but I can’t find any way to opt in or out of it on my phone. Facebook also says that you can opt-out of posting the microphone captured information but the info will be stored anonymously (not linked to your account) by Facebook. Presumably that’s so they can sell that info to advertisers at a later point in time.

A petition on Sum Of Us is looking for 750,000 signatures requesting that Facebook discontinue this feature calling it an invasion of privacy. As of writing, the petition has over 550,000 signatures but Facebook has not responded to it.

At this point, we shouldn’t be surprised that Facebook is invading its users privacy in order to make more money from advertisers. That doesn’t mean that Facebook users should take this lying down. Uninstalling the app or not updating it to the point where it takes control of your phones mic might be a start. I know that there’s an Android app called Tinfoil that displays Facebook’s mobile site like the app. There are ways to Facebook on the go that don’t require their app. I suggest you start looking into it… Unless you’re like me and haven’t used Facebook in three years. (Thanks for noticing people who sent me birthday greetings on Facebook.)



About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on June 6, 2014, in Tech and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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