After downloading a copy of the data Facebook has on them, people have discovered logs of incoming and outgoing calls, as well as text messages.
Dylan McKay took to Twitter to reveal that from October 2016 to July 2017, Facebook had collected his entire call history with his partner’s mother, as well as text messages.
He tweeted that Facebook had ‘a historical record of every single contact on my phone, including ones I no longer have’, as well as ‘metadata about every text message I’ve ever received or sent.’
And Ben Wigham revealed that he had discovered a similar log.
He tweeted: “I had a similar issue with mine on Android. Don’t have FB installed but I do use Messenger and Instagram. Interestingly they only tracked when I rang my parents and girlfriend. Have never used Messenger in regards to my parents. Weird.”
In response, a Facebook spokesperson told The Guardian that uploading your phone contacts is a ‘widely used practice.’
The spokesperson said: “The most important part of apps and services that help you make connections is to make it easy to find the people you want to connect with.
“So, the first time you sign in on your phone to a messaging or social app, it’s a widely used practice to begin by uploading your phone contacts.
“Contact uploading is optional. People are expressly asked if they want to give permission to upload their contacts from their phone – it’s explained right there in the apps when you get started.
“People can delete previously uploaded information at any time and can find all the information available to them in their account and activity log from our Download Your Information tool.”
The spokesperson also noted that users can stop uploading contacts at any point by turning off the continuous uploading setting in the Messenger app.
To delete your Facebook account, log in to Facebook, and go to Settings.
Click General in the left column, and then go to ‘Manage Account’. Click edit, and then ‘Request account deletion.’
You’ll then have 14 days to undo the process before your account is permanently deleted.