Mariamz

Bye bye Facebook for Android

Posted on: March 3, 2012

I’m uninstalling my Facebook for Android app today. Three main reasons:

  1. It continually tells me I have new messages I already read
  2. It is always running however often I use my app killer to shut the damn thing off
  3. It can see where I am, who I am calling, and read my text messages if it wants

I don’t have a problem with anonymised data being used to fund the free exchange of information online by helping marketers to target people efficiently and effectively. But many mobile apps can see and use too much of our personal information and communications as standard. So starting with Facebook I’m taking a stand on this…

Google said: ‘From the beginning, Android has had an industry-leading permissions system which informs consumers what data an app can access and requires users’ approval before installation.’

Tom Kelly

This ‘approval’ comeback completely misses the point… we want the app so we click yes, even if we don’t agree with or understand why it wants access to so much of our mobile data.

I’d suggest as a first step before the law catches up with this problematic area that the Apple App Store and Android Market include a ‘report unnecessary data collection’ button on every app in their collections so that potential users can report that although they want a certain application – they would like to protest at the level of information it has access to.

Some might argue that if we want free apps we need to pay the price by giving over everything about us to unaccountable corporations and institutions. I’d argue that if your business model depends on intruding upon people’s private lives to the extent of needing to know where they are all the time and who they are calling the world can do without your sociopathic stalker-esque enterprise. Seriously.

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