New Facebook App Listens to Your Conversations in Real Time
In the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the massive and ubiquitous NSA surveillance over the American people and the rest of the world, Facebook decided to take things a little bit further.
A creepy, terrifying new feature, with huge implications regarding privacy in the light of the NSA scandal was just announced: the latest mobile app from Facebook, which is available for some time now, is listening to the user’s background noise using the smartphone’s microphone and can post a status update in real time on his/hers timeline.
The app can determine what music, movies or tv-shows you’re watching / hearing and its official purpose is to make life easier for users, when it comes to “sharing” obviously.
Facebook vows that the app will not record private conversations, scout’s honor! But, you must keep in mind that the Terms of Service you agreed upon when you signed up for a Facebook account clearly states that you allow for your audio feed to be recorded without permission via the phone’s microphone.
The TOS allows Facebook to use your smartphone camera for taking pictures/record audio/video at any given time, without permission. Also, Facebook is allowed to read your phone call’s log/your private data about your contacts stored inside your smartphone, and even to call numbers directly, numbers that may incur charges to your phone bill.
Most users agree to Facebook’s (and not only) terms without even reading them carefully. The implications are enormous, because we’re basically allowing a private company free access, 24/7/365 to our most precious private data in a fashion that would make even the NSA jealous i.e. by choice and consent.
According to various reports from Edward Snowden (never denied by the NSA) which reveal that the agency is recording almost EVERY phone conversation in entire countries, it would be naive to assume that Facebook can’t be hacked and used for spying on Americans (or insert here whatever country you’re living in).