Facebook spied on Android users’ calls & texts while pretending to care about privacy… Former GCHQ boss: could threaten democracy

Facebook tried to conceal that it was secretly vacuuming up call and text logs from Android users without their permission, newly-released internal documents have revealed.

The hundreds of pages of documents, which were previously sealed as part of an ongoing legal case with a now-defunct app developer called Six4Three, were released yesterday by the British parliament — and they confirm once again that Facebook is more than willing to sacrifice user privacy for company growth.

Writing in an email to colleagues, Facebook engineer Micheal LeBeau acknowledged that it was a “pretty high risk thing to do from a PR perspective” but said it “appears the growth team will charge ahead and do it” anyway.

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Facebook could become a threat to democracy without tougher regulation, the former head of intelligence agency GCHQ has said.

Robert Hannigan told the BBC the social media giant was more interested in profiting from user data than “protecting your privacy”.

It comes after MPs this week accused Facebook of striking secret deals over user data.

The firm has also been criticised for its handling of fake news.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Hannigan said: “This isn’t a kind of fluffy charity providing free services. It’s is a very hard-headed international business and these big tech companies are essentially the world’s biggest global advertisers, that’s where they make their billions.

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“So in return for the service that you find useful they take your data… and squeeze every drop of profit out of it.”

Asked if Facebook was a threat to democracy, Mr Hannigan said: “Potentially yes. I think it is if it isn’t controlled and regulated.

“But these big companies, particularly where there are monopolies, can’t frankly reform themselves. It will have to come from outside.”




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