Facebook accused of 'massive data grab' over automatic phone pic upload app
Social networking site Facebook has reportedly been accused of a massive 'data grab' over encouraging users to allow the it to automatically synchronise photos from their mobile devices to the social networks servers.
The social network from Friday began asking users of its mobile apps to activate its new Photo Sync, which will automatically upload each picture to a private album, regardless of whether users decide share the photos on their public newsfeed or not, giving Facebook complete access.
It means that the social site will be able to mine those files for their metadata, including the location where the photo was taken, as well as use its facial recognition technology to spot those pictured, the Daily Mail reports.
According to the paper, as a result, over time, Facebook will be able to build up a comprehensive database of where users have been, and with whom, from information they automatically give to the company.
Emma Carr, deputy director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: 'This provides a stark warning about the loss of control experienced once you have installed an application to your mobile phone.
"Privacy is clearly at the very back of the Facebook's mind when creating an application that enables this kind of uploading of photographs to be easier when it, in fact, it should be made more difficult. Companies that don't care act like Facebook," she added.
The automatic nature of the service also suggests that Facebook is set to gain access to users' most private photos, including some that may violate its notorious terms of service, the paper said.