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Just because you heard it from a "news source" online does not mean it's true. The regular Facebook app (not the Messenger app) uses nearly all the same permissions as the Messenger app does. Check this out (click on picture for full size): As of Facebook version 184.108.40.206.86 and Facebook Messenger version 220.127.116.11.85 In the above pictures, you'll see screenshots of the Facebook app and the Messenger app's permissions (with some overlap) laid out side by side.
The media loves to scare people because it causes buzz and causes their story to get out there and people to listen. After reading through them, some of them stand out as being pretty scary if you've never looked into these before (some are listed below).
The Messenger is one of the most elegant and organized apps out there.
It is crammed with a plenty of functions, but their strategic placement keeps the interface neat and clean.
Not to mention, based on the number of downloads listed for the other popular apps above, chances are that you use at least one of those apps and those apps use many of the same permissions as the Facebook Messenger App. There are plenty out there -- Whats App, Kik, Skype, etc.
If you truly still believe that Facebook can "access your recording devices at any time", well guess what, you agreed to those same permissions with the regular Facebook App, or Whats App, or Skype, or Snapchat, or many other apps. You can access your messages via the desktop version of Facebook.
Here is a list of most of the "invasive" permissions listed above that the Facebook and Messenger App use along with other popular apps that use those same permissions: I think you get the point.
Yet, I don't see everyone up in arms about their privacy when they download AVG... you shouldn't be any more worried about your privacy than you were before the Messenger App became mandatory in order to access your messages through the regular Facebook App. Because it uses almost every single permission that the regular Facebook App uses.
Is Facebook the only app with these "invasive" permissions? I want to start with reacting to a video that I saw shared around social media a few years ago when I wrote this post.
In it, two news anchors were discussing the recent Facebook Messenger App and how many users are worried that Facebook is crossing the line and invading everyone's privacy.
This "Tech Expert" Anthony is a sad excuse for an expert.
He refers to the Whats App Messenger App as "What's Up App" and calls Nike Fuel Bands "Nike Fit Bands".