Facebook messenger app raises privacy concerns among users

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Accessing Facebook messages on your phone will soon require the use of a separate app.

The Facebook Messenger app has been around since 2011, but Facebook is now requiring mobile Facebookers to download the app if they want to send or receive messages on their phones.

But it has come with some privacy concerns, as the app asks for permission to access your contacts, microphone and camera.

"I think the asking for permission to use those features is completely normal, but you have to trust the company that you give permission to," said Marcus Files with Nate's Computer Repair in Columbia. "Not that Facebook is intending to do anything malicious with this, but are they the company you want to give full access of your phone to?"

For some, the bigger concern is that they weren't aware of the terms before they downloaded the app.

"I was at work the other day and someone told me it could actually, like, it has access to your microphone and it can hear everything you're saying and stuff and I just kind of thought that was an invasion of my privacy, so I deleted it," said Facebook user Andrew Cantwell.

Others said they won't be using the app and they feel people shouldn't sacrifice their privacy for convenience.

"I feel like a lot of people just press 'OK' and click the box before they even read the fine print," said Facebook user Darryl Dixson.

But Files said for those who don't want to use the app, there is a way you can access your messages without it.

"If you feel uncomfortable with that, you can always go online and you can visit from your phone's web browser and you can send and receive messages there without giving it full permission to your phone," he said.

Files said although the terms of use with the Facebook Messenger app may scare you, they're not new and not much different from the terms and conditions you agree to to use the regular Facebook mobile app.

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