Facebook provided some clarification to debunk reports that it was logging its users’ calling and texting histories without their permission.
The social network reinforced in a Newsroom post that the ability to import non-Facebook contacts into its Messenger application is strictly an opt-in choice for users, and that it can be turned off at any time via settings in Messenger and Facebook Lite.
Facebook stressed that for users who decide to opt in to this feature, “We never sell this data, and this feature does not collect the content of your text messages or calls.”
The feature was introduced in Messenger for Android in 2015 and eventually added to the social network’s Facebook Lite lightweight alternative Android app.
Facebook wrote, “When you sign up for Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android, or log into Messenger on an Android device, you are given the option to continuously upload your contacts, as well as your call and text history. For Messenger, you can either turn it on, choose ‘learn more’ or ‘not now.’ On Facebook Lite, the options are to turn it on or ‘skip.’ If you chose to turn this feature on, we will begin to continuously log this information, which can be downloaded at any time using the Download Your Information tool.”
The social network also explained why it collects data for users of the feature: “When this feature is enabled, uploading your contacts also allows us to use information like when a call or text was made or received. This feature does not collect the content of your calls or text messages. Your information is securely stored, and we do not sell this information to third parties. You are always in control of the information you share with Facebook.”