If you updated the Facebook app on your Android phone this week, you probably received a request to agree to a new set of terms and conditions.
As we all learned in the infamous South Park episode, no one actually reads those things, but if you’re using any version of Google’s mobile OS beyond 4.0, we suggest you pay special attention to the fine print this time around.
A Reddit discussion that highlighted the update was the original source to discover that the new ToS had a very quick mention of being able to read every text message that’s sent or received on your phone from now on and forever.
In the same thread, Facebook Android engineer Franci Penov assured inquiring users that their text apps would only be rooted through for the purpose of strengthening two-step verification procedures.
Not that the company should care what a fringe group of its informed users think about them anyway. The social media monolith posted record revenue growth this quarter, earning close to 70% more revenue in 2013 than the $2.2bn pulled in the year previous.
This is what we needed to be afraid of, by the way. Many people around the nation, some of my close family included, look at the actions of the NSA and say to themselves, “well, I’ve got nothing to hide”. They don’t have any concerns for an agency that to them at least, looks to primarily be out catching the bad guys.
But they were putting their stakes in the ground on the wrong campsite. This wasn’t exclusively about whether or not the NSA cared what you ate for lunch today… it’s the companies, the ones who have been skirting those ropes of legality for years in anticipation for a sense of apathy just like the one we’ve shown to the rest of the world in the past six months, that we needed to worry about.
Now that these advertising-based streams of cash have seen the overwhelmingly tepid response to the thousands of basic civil liberty violations that the government has gotten away with without more than a peep from the public, they’re ready to start picking and choosing the lines they’d like to cross and testing the waters to see what everybody says.
First it’s your texts, then it’s your emails, then it’s your web history. We’ve already been down this road once, do we really need a map to guess where it’s headed next?