Facebook tried to conceal that it was secretly vacuuming up call and text logs from Android users without their permission, newly-released internal documents have revealed.
The hundreds of pages of documents, which were previously sealed as part of an ongoing legal case with a now-defunct app developer called Six4Three, were released yesterday by the British parliament — and they confirm once again that Facebook is more than willing to sacrifice user privacy for company growth.
Writing in an email to colleagues, Facebook engineer Micheal LeBeau acknowledged that it was a “pretty high risk thing to do from a PR perspective” but said it “appears the growth team will charge ahead and do it” anyway.
Kwon wrote in an internal email that the “growth team” was “exploring a path” where Facebook would “only request Read Call Log permission, and hold off on requesting any other permissions for now.”
There are a ton of Facebook internal emails out now from parliament. https://t.co/DlSSlq9WfQ
The biggest reveal here isn’t the data privacy stuff— it’s how ruthless Facebook is as a competitor. pic.twitter.com/3QqlYRYDK6
— Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) December 5, 2018
“Based on their initial testing, it seems this would allow us to upgrade users without subjecting them to an Android permissions dialog at all. It would still be a breaking change, so users would have to click to upgrade, but no permissions dialog screen,” he wrote.
In actual English, that means Facebook was trying to make it as difficult as possible for users to be aware of what they were doing with personal call and text data. Publicly, however, Facebook adamantly denied it was obtaining call and text logs without user permission.'
Read more: Facebook spied on Android users’ calls & texts while pretending to care about privacy