Facebook Accounts Revealed as Potential Source for Android Call and Message Logs
Increased public scrutiny of Facebook’s data handling practices has led users to the discovery that Facebook has been logging call and message data from Android mobile devices
by Matthew Verga, JD, Xact Data Discovery
We have looked previously on this blog at the vast, diverse quantities of information that are available from social media sources like Facebook, and how they include both the materials users have posted and also information gathered about users from their use (e.g., people, places, and devices). As we reviewed last summer:
Facebook, for example, allows sharing of photos and videos, status updates, public posts, private messages, live chats, and more. . . .
Each social media account for each individual user can contain hundreds or thousands of pages of materials in a mishmash of formats. For example, in one highly publicized case a few years ago (related to the end of the US-EU Safe Harbor program), a law student requested all of Facebook’s retained data on him and received 1,222 pages that included: posts, messages, and chat logs; log-on and posting times; records of his friends and connections; GPS data from photographs;some deleted materials, etc.
. . .
Finally, beyond all of the user-created and user-shared materials, and beyond all of the metadata associated with those materials, most social media services also generate their own records of and about user activity, such as IP address logs . . . . [emphasis added]
Now Facebook’s gathering and handling of information about its users is under scrutiny again after revelations about political uses of that data, which has led some users to dig into what Facebook knows about them. They have discovered that it was gathering more than they realized from their Android smartphones.