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back to article Facebook phone app attempts to seize ALL YOUR MAIL

Facebook has found an innovative way to encourage use of its email service: reach into users' mobile phone address books and change the email addresses stored against each contact to their Facebook email account. It has emerged that Facebook's war on competing services now extends beyond the manipulated Timeline and into punters …

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Big Brother

All you FaceBitches

are belong to us.

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Trollface

If you want Facebook you've gotta bend over and take it up the ar*e baby!

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Anonymous Coward

This should lead to the courts making all Facebook aps

DELEATABLE!

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Anonymous Coward

AND

Apple want to embed it into iOS 6!

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit I don't want it so why should I be made to have it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AND

It's not embedded into iOS you AC fool. You still have to install the app. The "integration" is just an API for the app.

In iOS 6 you also have to approve access to the contacts as well as being able to remove such permission at any time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AND @ metavisor

Is that what you think you poor misguided fool!

Facebook is like the clap, it won't just go away if you ignore it, it will just get worse.

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Childcatcher

Re: AND @ metavisor

How can you insult the clap like that? What did it ever do to you?

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Paris Hilton

Re: All you FaceBitches

CHILL OUT FACEBOOK ISNT OUT TO GET YOU JUST RELAX AFTER ALL THEY PROMISE TO KEEP YOUR STUFF PRIVATE GEEZ YOU PEOPLE ARE PARNOID

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Facepalm

Re: All you FaceBitches

Clue to the clueless: so Facebook updates your mobile contacts.

Then the changes get synced back to your Gmail contacts.

Then the changes get synced with your Outlook address book.

At which point Facebook has inveigled itself into all your contacts data in a way you'd be VERY unlikely to have wanted, and will get copies of all emails you send via their addresses. Now, I don't know where you come from, but in the UK that could very well fall under the Computer Misuse Act and earn its perpetrators solid jail-time.

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WTF?

Re: AND

You're not made to have it.

Don't buy an Apple thing.

Problem simply vanishes......

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Good advice

...but my Sony Experia won't let me delete the FB app even though it's never used, unless I root the handset!

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Gold badge

Re: Good advice

Just don't feed the app any login details. Then Facebook will starve, for lack of data to eat...

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Mushroom

Re: Good advice

If you are a droid punter, get your phone rooted then get root uninstaller and zap the bloatware.

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Thumb Down

Re: Good advice

I don't have the facebook app installed. I do have my contacts linked to their facebook profiles though so that Sense UI can scrape their accounts for extra contact info. It's just a useful feature that means I don't have to manually enter missing email addresses etc.

When facebook changed everybody's default email to @facebook.com guess what happened to every email address in my contact list...

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Re: Good advice

pretty soon facebook won't need any login details to eat your data. for all your datas belongs to us.

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Trollface

@Fibbles

Don't worry, it will only change the addresses of those friends dumb enough to use Facebook ;-)

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Meh

Re: @Fibbles

Excellent point. Those dumbarses. Then I realised that I have a Facebook account, only ironically you understand.

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Joke

@Spartacus

Or its AI fires up and it decides to snack on something else. Would you take the risk?

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JDX
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wow

as title

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So - if El Reg's advice is to remove the facebook app - what's the advice for those of us who haven't rooted our phones and thus aren't actually able to remove the "operator installed" apps. eh? eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Shoot the operator...?

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"what's the advice for those of us who haven't rooted our phones and thus aren't actually able to remove the "operator installed" apps."

Don't allow the Facebook app to upgrade to anything beyond the version that came with the phone - and hope it's a version that doesn't do insidious things like this.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't use the official FB App - use another one instead.

FB's forced email addresses are also seriously fucking up some third party apps too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Facebook App

'what's the advice for those of us who haven't rooted our phones and thus aren't actually able to remove the "operator installed" apps'

I don't use neither Facebook nor mobile phones so I may be way off the mark, but... isn't there anywhere in the application where you enter your account details? If so, presumably setting those to a non-existing account should stop the app working. Or does the ruddy thing do the contact book fiddling business without even being logged in with a Facebook account? If so, talking to your favourite consumer group / solicitor may be in order, as the legality of the operation seems a bit dubious to me.

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Coat

Simple.

Chuck the Android phone and get a Windows phone. It lets you uninstall all operator- or manufacturer-installed apps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Simple.

So to remove one piece of malware you need ... another piece of malware?

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Re: Simple.

Fb app on my winphone is just fine

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Mushroom

Not Rooted?

"what's the advice for those of us who haven't rooted our phones and thus aren't actually able to remove the "operator installed" apps"

1. Disable auto-updating for the FB app from Google Play

2. Clear all the data for the app by long-pressing the app in Launcher and select Application Info, then click "Clear Data"

This should make the FB Android app unused and uninitiated.

SHUT DOWN YOUR PHONE completely, then restart (do NOT reboot)

Now Never, NEVER EVER use the FB app, use the web interface instead

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Bronze badge

"what's the advice for those of us who haven't rooted our phones and thus aren't actually able to remove the "operator installed" apps. eh? eh?"

Root your phone.

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advice?

...should have bought an iPhone

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Trollface

Re: Simple.

tried it .. did not work .. windows is still there

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@RootBurner

Disable the app (remove username and password information, so that it can't log in).

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Big Brother

Just delete your account if you can't delete the app

Just did this on my Experia, worked fine. You could probably just turn off the synch in "settings > accounts and synch" (same place you can delete the account by the way), but I never use the app anyway so just starved it as an earlier poster recommended.

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Linux

If you can't remove the app...

Remove the account information so it can't log on.

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Trollface

Re: advice?

Well done Sir. Upvoted because you must have ballls of steel posting a comment like that round here. And using your own name. Top trolling.....

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Re: Simple.

But it also, like the iPhone, doesn't let you install any app that hasn't been explicitly approved by Microsoft. When it comes to mobile phones, customers have plenty of choice: They can choose which company they would rather be screwed by.

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Simple

Stop buying shiny shit

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Malware

Wow! Just wow! That is genuinely outrageous behaviour.

Thank god I uninstalled FB's slow, cr@ppy app. They deserve a LOT of abuse for this.

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Anonymous Coward

That really does take the biscuit

Post

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Pirate

vaseline?

if you willingly signed up to a corporate wet dream - expect to be fucked in the anus regularly.

not one jot of sympathy for any of you.

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Gimp

Re: vaseline?

Vaseline? This aint the 70s mate - lube technology has come a long way since then - pardon the pun.

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Paris Hilton

Re: vaseline?

That's why crApple patented rounded corners.

Paris, who else?

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Is this really, actually happening?

I've just gone through the utter mess that is my Android address book and see no evidence of this happening. Quite a few people in the address book have their Facebook connection indicated but there are no facebook.com email addresses.

Now, if Facebook are doing this, I suspect it could amount to destruction of property. Not the kind of thing they'd want to be caught doing.

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tgm

Re: Is this really, actually happening?

If I remember correctly, Google stopped any Facebook contact integration when Facebook didn't want to 'share' back.

So, I might be wrong, but perhaps this only affects older versions of Android? My ICS Android phone doesn't have any Facebook contact integration even though I have the app installed...

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Re: Is this really, actually happening?

Thanks. That may well explain my experience (I use ICS also),

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Re: Is this really, actually happening?

When you install Facebook app, it asks you what you want to sync. Everything, just contacts or nothing.

This is the Android security measure, it is basically Facebook's app, asking for permission to access your and update your phone.

Anyone who chose anything other than 'nothing' deserves everything they get.

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Re: Is this really, actually happening?

Regarding your destruction of property comment - does it breach any computer misuse acts? Or is this going to be yet another case of "individual hacks company and goes to jail, company hacks individuals' data by the thousands and gets off with it"? Can they be sued for the cost of replacing the data/fixing the problem just like an individual would? Thought not.

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Coat

Re: Is this really, actually happening?

I too disabled the Facebook contacts syncing. It annoyed the hell out of me when I first got my Galaxy S about 18 months ago, so much so that I wiped the phone and started from scratch again, so now whenever I do wipe the phone or upgrade the version of Android (such as CM9 which I installed last week) I make sure the Facebook app doesn't sync.

I think most of my Facebook friends don't bother updating their mobile numbers and contact information on Facebook anyway when they get new phones etc (hardly any of them port their numbers, they just change their phones and send out lots of texts to friends saying... "here's my new number").

I presume this is also related to Facebook changing saved e-mail addresses on Facebook to @facebook.com e-mail addresses recently. Oh well, the 2 or 3 contacts I have e-mail addresses stored for are okay.

Mine's the one with the little black book of numbers in the pocket.

Rob

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WTF?

Presumably if you don't log into whatever facebook app you have on your phone, it can't replace your addresses with anything.

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Pirate

outrageous

If you have a phone with a pre-installed version of facebook, you can clear the data for the app (under settings) and it will no longer have your credentials to login to the filthy malware pedlar's servers.

something like (depending on version):

settings -> apps -> filthbook -> clear data

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