Facebook is now responding to accusations of forcing their users to download the separate Messenger app in order to gain access to users’ privates lives. The accusations spurred widespread anger and distrust, especially taking into account the recent outrage surrounding Facebook’s unauthorized social experiment on its users.
The social network denies rumors that the app allows constant access to the user’s camera and/or microphone, and therefore allows Facebook to see/hear what the individual is doing. Users have been contacted via Facebook message. In an official statement, Facebook states-
We’re testing ways of explaining Messenger to people, and as part of that, a percentage of people will receive this notice…We felt it was important to offer more information, particularly in light of false reports that have spread over the last couple of weeks.”
While many have expressed doubts regarding the intentions of Facebook’s new app, many have embraced it and plan to use it in the future. While the concern for consumer privacy is understandable, this may be a reminder that there is a thin line between sensible doubt and paranoia.
An analyst of the Gabriel Consulting Group, Dan Olds, comments,
I think the Facebook Messenger app is pretty innocent. At worst, it’s not any more intrusive than any other communication application…What this hubbub really shows is how easy it is to stir up the villagers into a torch-lit mob with a single poorly-thought-out piece.”
Let’s be smart consumers and value our privacy, but keep the pitchforks for another day.
Read more here- “Facebook Tries to Quel Messenger Rumors,” (Sharon Gaudin, Computer World)
Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.