back to article Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us

Facebook started 2016 with the bold claim that it intends to eradicate phone numbers and replace web browsing, but the Social Network has a mountain to climb before Facebook Messenger becomes the centre of our online world. That’s the stated intention of the Zuckerberg empire – to replace all our myriad internet communication …

Anonymous Coward

Re: When is a phone not a phone...

so you like sticking pins in insects?

No, he only researches the origin of the word "armchair" :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: When is a phone not a phone...

> Not a grammer Nazi,

I believe you. :-)

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Bill Ray

What do you thing you're playing at posting a decent editorial article?

You (briefly) plugged the consultancy you work for. So briefly I almost missed it. This is completely unacceptable behavior. Not only did you fail to mention DevOps and Storage, you included useful facts and reasoned analysis!! This sort of thing undermines the hard won contempt the profession works so hard to maintain.

I repeat: who are you and what have you done with the buzzword spouting PowerPoint ninja who was supposed to write this?

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Big Brother

“Facebook M” starts listening in to all your conversations

F**k right off right there.

I loath the idea of government agencies doing this.

The notion I should allow it for a for-profit American corporation (money making and government access through THE PATRIOT Act) makes me want to vomit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: “Facebook M” starts listening in to all your conversations

The notion I should allow it for a for-profit American corporation (money making and government access through THE PATRIOT Act) makes me want to vomit.

I'd replace "should" with "have" because it's been happening for *quite* some time, and to a depth that suggests these private companies must employ former or even active intelligence staff to develop what they do. The benefit of outsourcing this is plausible deniability for the Government involved.

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I never knew Farcebook had a messaging app.

Now I do know, I won't be using it

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Anonymous Coward

Zuck

Fuck

Off

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Anonymous Coward

Were all doomed anyway.

If x number of friends have your number and connect to y app then your contact list can and will be guessed without your permission.

I say y app because it is of benefit for all the companies slurping data to do data swaps depending on the datasets. Contacts I would assume would be a beneficial swap to isolate friends of users not using y app.

Even though Facebook is an abomination of slurping shite but at least they don't really hide the fact.

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Anonymous Coward

Not quite. I need to work on it a bit more, but I have an idea to reasonably screw over that data collection. I'll see if I find time to talk with El Reg about publishing it later this year - the more people participate the more it will make a complete mess of the assembled data haystack.

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Anonymous Coward

Dear Bill, that report is NOT free..

.. if people have to give up their email address.

Kindly stop from adding to the myth of free that so many companies like FB use to con people out of their personal data.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear Bill, that report is NOT free..

Did it not occur to you to lie? I fed it "user@example.com" and it happily spit out the PDF at me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear Bill, that report is NOT free..

Did it not occur to you to lie? I fed it "user@example.com" and it happily spit out the PDF at me.

Then why collect it in the first place?

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Re: Dear Bill, that report is NOT free..

No thanks. Why should I lie? I just choose not to do business with people under terms that are not acceptable to me. When possible I tell them that that is why I am not doing business with them.

We should all do more of that: lying about date of birth, email address, phone number, etc just makes it appear that collecting such data is acceptable.

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Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

We already have text messages, email and - if you must - Twitter, which each fit different roles in terms of immediacy, audience, message size, and link/attachment flexibility.

What does Facebook Messenger bring to the table? Nothing. The only reason it is installed on so many lower end phones is because SMS isn't always free. If Android had included a built in SMS replacement ala iMessage, Facebook Messenger would have never reached the install base it currently has in those low end phones.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

a) Security (ability to use deniable, authenticated, end-to-end encryption with forward secrecy)

b) Presence (knowing if your interlocutor is online / available)

c) Immediacy (messages have very short delays, if both parties online)

d) Availability (internet connectivity being easier to come by and more reliable than phone service, esp. in developing countries and remote areas--got that t-shirt)

e) Cost (usually much cheaper than texting, esp. for international exchanges)

There are certainly other reasons to add to the list.

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Re: Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

Facebook? Secure?? They data mine those messages, I hope you don't send anything you don't want them to know and sell on to random third parties to potentially haunt you in "sponsored content" down the road.

iMessage actually fits the bill for your list better than Facebook Messenger, until you get to cost. Still don't understand why Google didn't provide a similar capability to Android. It is probably too late now, they're all used to using Messenger or Whatsapp...and that all that juicy data is being mined by not-Google.

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Re: Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

"a) Security (ability to use deniable, authenticated, end-to-end encryption with forward secrecy)"

And SMS doesn't provide all of those?

Without everything going to a) free to sell by FB (read the EULA sometime, will you?) and b) to NSA, directly.

No, there is absolutely _no_ security in anything related to Zuckenberg-mafia. None at all: Everything you do or send, is sold to anyone who bothers to ask and has money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

> And SMS doesn't provide all of those?

No.

> No, there is absolutely _no_ security in anything related to Zuckenberg-mafia.

And where do you see any mention of Mr. Zuckerberg (or whatever his name is) or his company in the above. Someone asked whether there is any benefit to "a messenger app[lication]", not that messenger application.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

> Facebook? Secure??

The above refers to generic instant messaging, with special attention to the possibilities offered by XMPP and related technologies, not to one specific implementation which may or may not offer any of the aforementioned benefits.

> They data mine those messages

Keine Scheiße, Sherlock!

> I hope you don't send anything you don't want them to know

Not everyone has a Farcebook account.

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Coat

As usual

A company trying to kidnap it's customers inside it's gated fortress, nothing new here.

The browser is a universal client, you can access whatever content you want from whatever source as long as that source complies with the standards that everyone follows, but then, these arrogant companies like Facebook think that there shouldn't be a world outside it's gated walls, so they force everyone in, and people like good sheep they are just acknowledge to be socially accepted.

It's already hard to do a research on the Internet without being forced to click on a Facebook link to find whatever you are looking for.

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Anonymous Coward

Intriguing...

That thing about the Chinese doing e-commerce over IM.

I am a big fan, and have been for years, of integrating XMPP into my services (in a completely unobtrusive way, of course), so that users can query and receive data and control things via their instant messaging clients, and interface which I find very simple and efficient.

To give an example (fictitious, or at least not from one of my systems, but representative): you own an "intelligent" thermostat. You create an account for it on an XMPP server of your choice, add yourself to its contacts and vice-versa, and optionally set up OTR. You go on a trip and realise you forgot to turn down the heating, so you just text mythermostat@jabber.org "Turn down the heating please"¹ or "set mode=economy"². Maybe the thermostat will text you back telling you its batteries³ are running low, or that there seemed to be a power outage, or whatever. You get the idea.

You see, you do not need a central server collecting all that user data (which is why Google et al. are so big on buying IoT start ups), you do not need proprietary, or even dedicated, software on the user's end.

It can and it will be abused (Farcebook being a case in point), but the idea, implemented properly, is intriguing nonetheless.

¹ A good interface would allow something close to natural language.

² A good interface would allow clear and unambiguous instructions.

³ Pretend it has some.

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Re: Intriguing...

You go on a trip and realise you forgot to turn down the heating, so you just text mythermostat@jabber.org "Turn down the heating please

Or, perhaps, "Aah, hello Mrs. Next Door. Yes, we're having a lovely time. Would you mind popping into the house and just pushing the 'holiday' button on the thermostat please? Thanks".

;-)

M.

Yes, yes, I know that not everyone leaves a key with a neighbour or has a nearby friend or relative who pops in once or twice to move the post off the front door mat where anyone can see it and know you are away, but a lot of us do and it can be very useful to nurture such relationships as proved to some neighbours of ours once, when Mrs. Other Next Door went in to move the post only to find the boiler leaking all over the attic (stupid place for a boiler). Yes, there was a mess, but not nearly as much as there would have been had it been doing that for three more weeks.

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Low end vs. High end phones..

Looking objectively (if that's possible) there might be a method to this madness. Get the app on the low end phones and get people used to it. When they upgrade their phone, they'll want the apps they're familiar with. Obviously a long-term goal thing as opposed to a short-term profit. If that's the plan..? Or if junior is using low end phones or friends, then they will persuade the higher end phone users to get it.

Personally, I don't touch text messages. my old Samsung cell only has a telephone style keyboard and no touchscreen. Texting is damn near impossible.

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Re: Low end vs. High end phones..

my old Samsung cell only has a telephone style keyboard and no touchscreen. Texting is damn near impossible.

My not-so-old smartphone only has a touchscreen and no keyboard. Texting is damn near impossible.

M.

(I could text "blind" on an old-style keyboard, but even staring at the screen and being careful with my fingers I end up deleting more than typing on a touchscreen, and don't get me started about trying to do that when it's raining!)

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Re: Low end vs. High end phones..

> my old Samsung cell only has a telephone style keyboard and no touchscreen. Texting is damn near impossible.

Ah, that explains why no-one ever texted until touchscreens came along.

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They do not honour the privacy of PMs.

Once I discovered this, I seriously locked down my Facebook use.

I had a minor foot injury that a gym instructor suggested a possible diagnosis for.

I mentioned the name once in a PM on facebook. From that point almost all my adverts on FB were for the condition.

I removed all FB apps as a result. I removed FB from the noscript whitelist. I also installed the self destructing cookies addon.

I now almost exclusively use mbasic.facebook.com (much nicer on a desktop than the regular site, to be honest)

I no longer have in depth conversations using the chat facility (I generally used XMPP, but that seems to have packed up anyway)

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Paris Hilton

You want WHAT?

Am I the only person left in the word who doesn't have a farcebook account?

Whenever I come across an App or website that wants me to "Log in using Facebook" (and doesn't give me an option to setup a site specific login) I immediately leave the site/uninstall the App.

If I want to communicate with someone I have a phone so I can call or text them, a computer so I can send an e-mail, a postal service so I can send a letter using snail-mail or a car so I can go to see them.

Why would I ever give over my life and private information to the likes of Facebook?

Paris because the whole world seems to be becoming more empty headed and like the sterotypical blonde bimbo each day.

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Re: You want WHAT?

I guess there's at least two of us. The family would like me on it for keeping in touch. Sadly, for FB, I neither have, nor want, a phone which their registration system can't deal with.

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Holmes

Re: You want WHAT?

I guess there's at least two of us

Three.

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Re: You want WHAT?

> Am I the only person left in the word who doesn't have a farcebook account?

No. I'm here. Laughing at those that do...

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Re: You want WHAT?

y'know, I wasn't going to say anything, and I know this is an old thread that no-one will read again, but I can't leave it without saying "me, neither", because the way this is working out almost implies that anyone who hasn't replied does have an account and is just not owning up ;-)

And then the school goes and says that they plan for all future school-home communication to be via Twitter.

Nope, we don't do that either.

M.

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Anonymous Coward

And just think, all the people you know who have signed up have donated your phone number which is undoubtedly sold to every telemarketer database in the entire world. Did you ever wonder why you get so many spam phone calls on your mobile? Thank your facebook friends.

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Nope

Unless all my "friends" use the number 127.0.0.1, there's a pretty slim chance of me being part of it.

Pretty sad that I know only one actual friend who, like me, is not on FB, though we talk frequently. Over a drink. You know, actually meeting each other (meeting does not involve sitting around a table and obsessively staring at your phone looking for the latest cat pictures).

Whatsapp I have borked from my phone as well, twitter is a bit of a meh, Skype I keep a weary eye on, as I use it to make intl voice calls on, and BBM is my instant messenger app.

I can only hope for humanity that the ad business completely collapses and takes facebook and it's ilk with it. Just maybe all their 2 billion products will start having a normal life around the dinner table.

Had to say that. I'm not grumpy!

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Microsoft with Skype will take the cake???

That the the author on about Microsoft and Skype ? After I read that phrase I stopped reading the article all together. Skype is not even in the same competitive landscape. Besides being a rubbish application. Microsoft as usual bought the company for billions and absolutely had been sitting on their hand and have done very little to improve it.

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Anonymous Coward

weel, I just got myself a new phone

hence the message for Herr Zuckenberg:

Dear Mark (or is it Frank?) I just got myself, a new phone! Yes!!!! No fingerprint, iris or stool sensor, but seems to work allright. Way over $200 (when it was new to some poor sucker), less than $50 to me now, so I guess I fall on both sides of the skype / messanger fence. Just need to root and re-stock it and I'm good to go. And yes, the message IS relevant to facebook, in one distinct way...

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Headmaster

so now the company is betting on messaging, and value-added messaging platforms.

Value-addled, actually.

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Pirate

Zuck Alors!!!

Resistance is NOT futile. Zuk that, Zuck!!!

In France, Facebook is known as "fesse de bouc". Google Translate will give you an accurate translation. :-)

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FAIL

Facebook Messenger

Possibly THE worst messenger app I ever tried to use, useless on android, iOS and Macbook.

Z can want a lot of things, but that dream he ain't ever realizing....

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Anonymous Coward

M-Spy

"Facebook M” starts listening in to all your conversations to suggest ways it can make your life more, as they say in such circles, “delightful.”"

"Spying" is the term everybody else is using. Everything they collect is first sold and then given to NSA for better analysis. Or vice versa.

NSA of course returns the analysis results if Zuckenberg-mafia haven't enough resources to do that by themselves. "Information exchange" benefits both and the user is the loser.

One more reason to stay out from that Stasi-level nightmare.

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Headmaster

A Posthomerican writes

"Facebook’s new Trojan Horse.

That analogy isn’t perfect: the horse of Troy was disguised [...]"

Er, the Trojan Horse was not disguised - it was a great big wooden horse. The analogy is correct, make 'em think it's a free gift and wreak havoc when it's been put in place. Check out the original business requirements from Odysseus, as captured by our old chum Quintus Smyrnaeus:

http://omacl.org/Troy/book12.html

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I gave up with the FB app when it suddenly started taking 200MB of cache and upwards....

Think it was when the offline view came in, suddenly my phone ran out of internal storage all the time. As I have no intention of upgrading the (Android) phone I just deleted the app and now use FB through Chrome browser or Opera Mini, which give the same functionality as the desktop version including messages, so saving nearly 300MB of internal storage. Notifications still work, too.

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Anonymous Coward

Friends don't let friends do Facebook.

http://tinyurl.com/jeg83qv

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