Why is Facebook's iOS app accessing my camera while I do unrelated things, users ask

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/12/why-is-facebooks-ios-app-acc.html

Facebook says, oops, it’s ‘likely’ a bug.


Uh huh. Don’t judge.


“bug” = feature


Time to start taping up your phone’s cameras.


For myself, a birthday reminder and non H.O.A. neighborhood associations.

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Why is Facebook [doing X?]

Oh, oh, is it money? It’s money, right?

You are the product. Never forget it.


" … roach of a company." :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

On point.

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Why does Spotify need access to every function on my phone? Why does any software want complete control over everything?


While we’re on the subject, is there some easy means of using Facebook Messenger on mobile without installing the app?

The quick and easy workaround is to switch the browser to Desktop Mode, which lets you use Messenger without being blocked by the “stop that right now and install the app” prompt – but of course the desktop-mode scaling is all wonky and so the UI is really tiny. It seems like there ought to be some easy way to spoof the user-agent or something to let you keep using Messenger with the normal mobile UI, but I haven’t been able to find it.

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Use an alternative app:

I haven’t tried any, but Disa looks attractive. I only use messenger at this point (deactivated my full Facebook account).


My perpetual luddite-like avoidance of FB has stood me in good stead (he gloatingly announced). :sunglasses:


I’m happy to judge. Just don’t use it. Too often we let people off the hook for not being willing to take the consequences of the tough choices that we all need to make.

I know with 100% certainty my social and professional life have taken a hit for never having joined Facebook, but it was the right thing to do and that decision has been vindicated time and again by shit like this. People want to be able to do the easy thing without suffering any of the consequences. For facebook users, don’t complain that the government hasn’t done anything about it (other than fraud, which it should absolutely prosecute), just don’t use it and spare the rest of us.

It turns out the answer to parents’ perpetual question “if everyone else jumped off a cliff you would too?” is largely “Yes! but I want you to catch me” rather than admitting that not jumping off the cliff might be the better choice even if it means you aren’t invited to the other kids’ parties.


If one has to ask…well, one is still using Facebook. Dumb f*cks.


Simple. Since almost everyone is carrying around a little all-in-one spying device in their pockets, it’s totally possible and fairly easy to implement. Therefore, GO FORTH AND CONQUER!

Oh, and don’t forget the ad money.

I would maybe advise against the full account deletion, if anyone is thinking about it.

I deleted mine about 3 years ago, and a few months later I discovered that someone had created an account with my name and who be"friend"ed about 50 people that I knew. Navigating the Facebook bureaucracy without being an actual Facebook user was a goddamn nightmare.

So, if you have a Facebook and don’t want to use it anymore - keep the account but delete all the apps, pictures and profile info.


I’m just gonna leave this here…



Been giving a lot of consideration to going landline-only, even if just to see how it would “unrevolutionize” my life. I esteem myself to be patient and adaptable. But also a little lazy… and then there’s that “hey wiretap, something-something pancakes” meme.

Facebook however? Go fly a kite, all my friends and acquaintances know I’m not on FB, and they’re perfectly fine with it. And when one of then happen also to not be on FB? High five!

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i’ve never owned a mobile device, i have a landline telephone, i have a desktop computer in my home that could, i suppose, be tracked to me despite using a tor server along with a couple of anonymous proxy servers before and after the connection to tor. the most definitive connection to me is my desktop computer i use at my workplace but i generally use it only for work uses so i’m not too worried about that.

i can’t justify to myself the paying of a monthly fee or a “straight talk” card to own a gps tracking device which can be switched on and surreptitiously used to record my words and whatever images are in front of the camera by such wonderful organizations as governmental police and spy agencies, major criminal syndicates, and decently well-resourced hackers.

on the other hand, it is entirely due to my level of privilege which allows me to move through the world so weightlessly.

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Ditto. BB is the sum total of my digital presence, which is increasingly appearing to be a good idea. Although I am absolutely certain that our digital overlords know a shit-tonne about my life, preferences and opinions, so it is a sort of superficial gloat, at best.


Heck. Just using your credit card reels in the info; you already know that spending habits can tell so much – and not only that you’re into John Grisham and jumbo-bagged gummy bears. But all we can do (apart from scissoring all our cards) is intelligently limit social media engagement… and not use online banking/investments.