The Messenger Cometh

apple icons

Is that squirrel or badger still popping up on your Facebook application telling you to download “Messenger”. Or maybe you have already down loaded it. We have had several questions about messenger so I thought I would see what the experts thought.

Security and forensics researcher Jonathan Zdziarski took a look underneath the hood of Face Book’s messenger last week. One of the first things he pointed out was that it was full of “spyware type code”. What kind of spyware you may ask? Basically it tracks everything you might do with it on a phone. For example it looks for meaningful patterns in data like what you tap on, what windows you view, and even the position of how you are holding your phone. If that wasn’t enough of a drag, it runs in the background so the battery power would probably go down.

One of the first complaints on messenger being circulated around social media was the idea that this software had a large number of app permissions that had the ability to record audio and video and also the ability of directly calling phone numbers from your contact list. While this is true it had more to do with the language of the IOS operating system. For Android app users,
they must agree to all permissions before using the app but iPhone users can decline or turn off the permissions.

Either way you are still giving your okie dokie to the policy agreements of Facebook to use it. See our past post called “Face Off” that discusses privacy.

So here is the question. Do I let all of these things work in the background in order to use something new? Our new modern catch-22!

Lisa B

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