Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No, Facebook Isn't Announcing To The World Who Your Booty Calls Are

I'm seeing all over Facebook and Google Plus that Facebook has now aggregated a list of all the numbers in your mobile phone.  Basically, if you have a mobile app, Facebook is grabbing all those numbers and making them convenient to you.  Everyone from my hairstylist to Tom Anderson is being a bit alarmist about it, claiming that this is a blatant violation of user privacy, with some even claiming that you can view other people's contact lists.


From the NYT:

"Meredith Chin, a spokeswoman for Facebook, explained that this feature was neither new nor altered. 'We’ve had this for quite some time,' she said. Facebook issued a statement on its site that reads: 'Rumors claiming that your phone contacts are visible to everyone on Facebook are false. Our Contacts list, formerly called Phonebook, has existed for a long time. The phone numbers listed there were either added directly to Facebook and shared with you by your friends, or you have previously synced your phone contacts with Facebook. Just like on your phone, only you can see these numbers.'"

"Facebook is doing a couple of things by merging contacts: it’s trying to provide a convenience to users ('Hey look! We pulled all these phone numbers together for you in one place!') and in doing that, it’s clearly trying to become the center of all your communication needs (see: the new Facebook Messenger app, introduced Tuesday). By collecting all this information, Facebook is most likely hoping it can take over spaces currently occupied by companies like AOL (via its AIM instant-message service),Skype, GroupMe and even telephone and e-mail providers."

I actually thought it was kind of neat.  I scrolled through the list on my own settings to see who I hadn't talked to in a while.  

So calm the fuck down, people.

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