Facebook may have access to records of users’ phone calls made on older versions of Android, the technology website Ars Technica reported on Sunday. Earlier this week, a man from New Zealand had posted on Twitter that he found his phone call logs on his personal archive that he had downloaded on the social media website.
Facebook has been under fire this week for concerns over how it handles the personal data of its users, prompting several governments to express worry.
Users who did not choose the option to deny the Facebook application access to their contacts ended up giving the company data about their phone call and message logs as well. This took place for Android versions before Android 4.1. Android, an operating system developed by Google, changed the permission structure in later versions, but apps such as Facebook could still find a way to access the calls and message metadata, according to Ars Technica.
Apple’s iOS has never allowed applications access to call records. Android’s version 4.1, or Jelly Bean, was launched in 2012.
In response, Facebook said uploading contacts was optional and the application “explicitly requests permission” to access the phone’s contacts on installation. “The most important part of apps and services that help you make connections is to make it easy to find the people you want to connect with,” a spokesperson told Ars Technica. “So, the first time you sign in on your phone to a messaging or social app, it’s a widely used practice to begin by uploading your phone contacts.”