Approximately 900 million people use Facebook’s Messenger app every month, especially after Facebook made it impossible to for mobile users to read direct messages on Facebook without downloading their app.
Now, the terms of Facebook’s Messenger app agreement are coming to light, and revealing what may have been Facebook’s motivation for making Messenger the only way for their users to access their messages.
Facebook’s Messenger app terms of service allow Facebook to access its users cell phone microphone and camera and record audio and video at any given moment without the user’s knowledge or permission.
Take a look at the below screenshot:
Facebook’s terms state Facebook can “record audio with the microphone … at any time without your confirmation.” The terms also allow for taking pictures and videos without confirmation as well.
Facebook is far from the only tech company abusing its technology to record you at every moment without your knowledge. Google has a voice search function that doesn’t just turn on when you ask it to. Instead, it records almost everything. The Independent reported that Google began doing this in June of 2015.
In fact, you can listen to the recordings Google has stored and associated with your name simply by visiting this webpage the company set up.
As early as 2006, it was reported in mainstream news that the FBI could remotely access your cell phone’s microphone without your knowledge. CNET reported that the FBI was remotely activating a mobile phone’s microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations in December 2006.
The FBI called this technique is a “roving bug,” and it was approved by the U.S. Department of Justice for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.
Now, it seems the tech companies are using their “roving bugs” in your cell phone and every other device with a microphone – to record you all the time.