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Calls I made to my office number to check my voicemail, and from my office number to find my phone, found in my Facebook data archive.

The social media site said that when the feature is enabled by the user and contact information is uploaded, the platform can then use the given data when a call or text was made or received with Facebook Lite and Facebook Messenger services. In a statement to Ars, a Facebook spokesperson referred to the data as part of the "widely used practice [of] uploading your phone contacts" to connect users to their real-life friends.

Has Facebook been logging your calls and texts?

"You may have seen some recent reports that Facebook has been logging people's call and SMS (text) history without their permission". This took place over several years, even before Facebook's apps offered to track call and text history, thanks to an exploit in one of Android's older permissions APIs.

Facebook’s contacts upload warning
Facebook’s contacts upload warning

The website ars technica reported that users who checked data collected by Facebook found that it had two or more years of contact names, telephone numbers, call lengths and text messages.

It all boils down to Android permissions, and how Facebook's mobile app was taking advantage of an earlier versions of Android to collect a surprising amount of sensitive information.

Mark Zuckerberg's bad month of data-breach news - which snowballed after a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower was banned from Facebook for exposing the harvesting of 50 million profiles - just grew worse with a new discovery about Android phones. Android eventually changed the way this permission worked in version 16 of its API. Really, this isn't so much a shocking revelation as a reminder that many people have explicitly granted permission to Facebook and its apps without realizing what data they were offering up in the process. But Android applications could bypass this change if they were written to earlier versions of the API, so Facebook API could continue to gain access to call and SMS data by specifying an earlier Android SDK version. When you have downloaded the archive, extract it, and look in the HTML folder for a file called contact_info.htm.

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