It just wanted too much control over my phone
One of the frustrations with the Android phone that I share with my wife is getting notifications of Facebook updates and emails telling me about those same updates. I tried disabling Facebook notifications but that didn't really work. I was resigned to just clearing the notifications every so often. Then an update for the Facebook app appeared; before installing it I read through the permissions and as a result promptly disabled the app.
It's not that I distrust Facebook, but the app wants an awful lot of control over my phone. Click on the Read more link for full details but suffice it to say that I just copied and pasted the full list from the Google Play website. I'd have spent all afternoon writing them out otherwise.
It all makes the app more convenient to use but as far as I can make out there's no way to be selective. I'm not particulary happy about sharing my exact GPS location on Facebook for example.
My solution is access Facebook through the mobile browser or Opera for Android. It's not quite as convenient, but it gives me more control about what I'm sharing online.
Curiously, because Facebook is one of bundled apps, I can't uninstall it, only disable it. To do this start the App launcher and tap on more. Select Manage Apps and then All. Scroll down the list to Facebook and tap on it. The list is in alphabetical order but quite long.
The next screen shows the resources used by the Facebook app as well as a summary of the permissions it has. Tap the Disable button to turn it off. There is a warning message that said it may cause problems but I haven't had any yet.
And here's the list of permissions from the Google Play website, all four hundred words.
This application has access to the following:
act as an account authenticator
Allows the app to use the account authenticator capabilities of the AccountManager, including creating accounts and getting and setting their passwords.
manage the accounts list
Allows the app to perform operations like adding and removing accounts, and deleting their password.
take pictures and videos
Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This allows the app at any time to collect images the camera is seeing.
Allows the app to access the audio record path.
fine (GPS) location
Access fine location sources such as the Global Positioning System on the tablet, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine where you are, and may consume additional battery power. Access fine location sources such as the Global Positioning System on the phone, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine where you are, and may consume additional battery power.
full Internet access
Allows the app to create network sockets.
Your personal information
read contact data
Allows the app to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your tablet. Malicious apps may use this to send your data to other people. Allows the app to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your phone. Malicious apps may use this to send your data to other people.
write contact data
Allows the app to modify the contact (address) data stored on your tablet. Malicious apps may use this to erase or modify your contact data. Allows the app to modify the contact (address) data stored on your phone. Malicious apps may use this to erase or modify your contact data.
read phone state and identity
Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. An app with this permission can determine the phone number and serial number of this phone, whether a call is active, the number that call is connected to and the like.
modify/delete USB storage contents modify/delete SD card contents
Allows the app to write to the USB storage. Allows the app to write to the SD card.
write sync settings
Allows the app to modify the sync settings, such as whether sync is enabled for the People app.
prevent tablet from sleeping prevent phone from sleeping
Allows the app to prevent the tablet from going to sleep. Allows the app to prevent the phone from going to sleep.
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