Big TechNews

Facebook’s new messaging app auto-posts updates based on movement and location

A new messaging app created by Facebook throws into further question the tech company’s commitment to privacy due to a number of invasive requests.

Launched as a companion messaging app to Facebook-owned Instagram, ‘Threads‘ allows its users to message and update those who have been designated as “close friends”. 

Yet despite being pitched as a more personal messaging service, Threads is awfully demanding when it comes to app requests, and can auto-post status updates based on movement and location.

Business Insider downloaded the new app on an iPhone and found the app requesting all the following permissions, even when not using it:

  • Continuous access to your location
  • Your movement and fitness activity
  • Your battery level
  • Whether you’re connected to WiFi or mobile data or not
  • Your closest friends, per your Instagram “Closest Friends” list

Users can opt out of providing Facebook with continuous access to their data, but it would undermine ‘auto-status’ which is one of Threads’ key features.

‘Auto-status’ automatically tells friends what you’re up to by detecting your movement and activity, from being “on the move” while you’re traveling to “at the beach” when you’re close to the ocean, or “at the gym” when working out, Business Insider revealed.

Facebook is no stranger to controversy regarding the management of user data, as evidenced in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the intrusive information requests of its latest app brings into question whether it is wise to pass over so much private data to the tech giant.