Facebook’s New App Update Brings Up Major Privacy Issues

By 06/03/2014 Blog

Facebook. The ability to connect with millions of people, get in touch with old friends, cousins we can only ever see at family reunions, and a way to market a company. It can be used for dozens of things!

Constantly, Facebook is receiving updates, some very small, some quite larger, with the hopes that they will benefit the users and makes things easier and funnier.

Facebook has announced a new feature for its Mobile App, and although at first glance it seems to make things easier, it’s actually quite questionable. Facebook has been criticized before for its privacy control and now this new feature brings that conversation back into light.

The app will listen to our conversations through our own phones’ microphone. Facebook claims that this app will only be used for harmless things such as, identifying a song that is playing, or a TV show. But, it can actually listen to private conversations as well, and store them.

The information about this app came the same day that Facebook announced changes in their policy related to privacy after it was tied to National Security Agency’s PRISM and accused of working with them and giving them information from users.

Whether this app will push through or not is still unclear. But it is worrisome that this app could potentially store conversations, especially for businesses. The repercussions could be endless, and this app could affect whether or not some people continue to use Facebook, especially the app. And this repercussion trickles down to marketing for those using Facebook to reach their target audience. With some businesses specifically using Facebook AdManager to drive App Downloads (for their own apps) or clicks to mobile websites, the number of people using Facebook from their mobile devices is critical, and this could mean less people available to reach.

As marketers, usage is always something we have to keep our eyes on, and this goes for the potential Facebook App update.