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Facebook is currently testing a new version of the Facebook App for Android devices. Version 4.0.x is being rolled out to beta-tester a little ahead of the official launch of the App to the public.

The changes at the stage are mostly cosmetic, however there are some interesting new permissions required to run the app.

Just before updating you are warned the permissions previously granted to the app have changed. Facebook now require the ability to :

  • Read your text messages
  • Add/modify calendar events
  • Send emails without your knowledge
  • Read your contacts
  • Connected/disconnect fromWiFi

These changes are alarming -- exactly why does the app need access to my text messages? Or the ability to email on my behalf? The update notes simply say "Bug fixes" so no new features have been added, apparently.

If I grant Facebook access, what exactly will they do with this data?

The new permissions being sought are shown at the top

The new permissions being sought are shown at the top

Facebook are remaining silent about the permissions change. On the beta-testers community they have been asked many times to elaborate on this change but so far there has been no response. I have also submitted feedback, but again nothing.

I'm certainly not going to update the App. I suggest you carefully consider your own privacy when the times comes. Granted, we all lose a degree of privacy when using Social Media tools however I still wish some control. I also feel I should be told why Facebook need these new permissions.

For now I will stick to the earlier version; if I am forced to accept the updated App I will uninstall it and use the web version on my mobile.

The fundamental question here is.... Do you actually ever read the permission changes as you update apps, or do you just click ok?!!

site by DAJ