If you’re a Facebook user, it’s most likely that you utilize it on your smartphone too. If that’s the case, you most likely make use of the Facebook Messenger app too, right? Now, if you’re using Messenger, you ‘d have discovered how it has a default habits to send your place with each message.
You probably would also be in the habit of disabling this immediately, but not before you’ve sent your first message to whomever you’re talking with – – there’s something calling default human habits that dictates this. Exactly what you probably have no idea, however, is that Messenger keeps a track of your area history nonetheless, to an alarmingly stalking level. This essentially means anybody with the best skills and the right intent can track you down to extremely accurate area details; information that you ‘d never ever be comfortable sharing otherwise. Want it to obtain even worse? There’s a Chrome extension that would allow anyone to do that.
The extension, called Marauders Map, was composed by one Aran Khanna as a proof of concept, and for individuals to recognize just how much of their personal privacy is being invaded by the use of apps such as Facebook Messenger, simply since we do not make the effort to ensure nothing that we do not want is being logged. Khanna discusses in his comprehensive account how he unintentionally came across the feature, and how, when he dug deeper, he understood the thoroughness and accuracy of Messenger’s location tracking.
Utilizing his extension, you can basically view an in-depth map of where your good friend(s) have been throughout their time, approximately 5 decimal latitude and longitude points (almost as much as 1 meter precise). What’s worse is that they’re not choosing to share this details; Messenger is logging it in the background, and the extension in question is exploiting that area history which was embedded in each message.
The good idea is, this background location tracking can be switched off in Messenger’s settings, but most users aren’t aware or don’t trouble going through the procedure. If you’re on Android, then simply launch the Messenger app on your device, tap on the Settings tab, then tap to disable the Place settings. iOS users can do the same by going to your iOS Settings app, then go to Privacy > > Place Solutions, find Messenger and select ‘‘ Never’.
To me, this is an indication of a much larger issue, and that is how much invasive we’ve permitted social media to become in our lives. Does real privacy exist any longer? Most likely not, and probably a lot of individuals do not really care anymore, either.
However, for those who do care, this behavior of the Messenger app where it collects background area data without a specific complete disclosure, is something to be worried of. Users can pull out, yeah, however that Facebook is depending on the default human habits patterns for gathering details without permission, doesn’t speak well for the social giant.
(Download: Marauders Map from the Chrome Web Store)