Facebook has started asking permission to read the personal text messages of people using its smartphone application.
The social media network has long asked users to give permission to access information such as personal email address books to augment the service it provides of linking people to their contacts, but the new request to read SMS or MMS text messages has raised some concerns, Fast Company reports
"We realize that some of these permissions sound scary," Facebook said in a statement intended to allay fears, according to Fast Company. "So we'd like to provide more info about how we use them … If you add a phone number to your account, this allows us to confirm your phone number automatically by finding the confirmation code that we send via text message."
The company has also started asking users whether it can access personal information in a user's calendar, including confidential information regarding events as well as permission to send email to guests without an owner's knowledge.
The company is already involved in a controversy after it came to light that Facebook has allegedly been scanning private messages within its network to generate profit by selling information to advertisers.
The allegations have triggered a lawsuit
amid concerns about privacy and security.
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