Reviewed October 2nd, 2020
privacy guide
Avoid If Possible ☠️
Facebook, Inc. 🔗
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Facebook Messenger & Messenger Kids

Facebook, Inc.


Facebook Messenger is a messaging platform that is included with Facebook and allows you to message and perform audio and video calls. The service can be accessed for free through a Facebook account, or by providing a phone number and email.

Breach History

Has there ever been a breach or data leak?


Date of last breach

December 2019

Over 267 million Facebook user phone numbers, names and user IDs were exposed in a database on the dark web. Facebook believes this breach occurred either through exploitation of Facebook's API, which has since been updated, or through automated technology used to scrape information from public user profiles.

Privacy Checklist

Does it meet our minimum privacy standards?

Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?


Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?


Does it use cookies, telemetry, or third-party tracking scripts?


Is the privacy policy user-friendly (easy to understand)?


Does it have parental controls?


Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?


Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?


Does it require you to create a strong password?


Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?


Does it have a privacy policy?


How Can It Snoop?

What sensitive hardware access requirements does it have?

Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?


Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?


Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?


Account Requirements

What information is required to create an account or use it?

Does it require an email address to use?


Does it require a phone number to use?


Does it require an address (home or office) to use?


Payment Options

What payment methods are available?

Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?


Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?


Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?


Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?


What Could Go Wrong?

What's the worst case scenario for your data?

Facebook has been known to use its users' personal data for advertising and often shares it with third parties. They also recently hired contractors to transcribe audio messages users sent through Messenger, and may have access to other metadata embedded in the app. This is especially concerning given children can use this app as well. Be warned about these risks before using the app.

How Does It Share Your Data?

Where is your data going? Who has access to it?

Facebook collects a lot of personal information from users and claims it can use this information to target you with ads in its privacy policy. Facebook has also been known to share this information with third-party partners such as advertisers, law enforcement, vendors, academic researchers, and analytic services.

Good Things

Why should you use it?

  • Can text as well as do audio and video calls.
  • Encrypted messaging mode.
  • Support for third-party apps.

Bad Things

What are the downsides?

  • Serious privacy concerns.
  • Limited file-type support.

Final Thoughts

Facebook is notoriously bad when it comes to protecting user privacy. They have been the target of several hacks, and have been known to sell user information to third parties, such as Cambridge Analytica. Even though messages in this app are supposedly encrypted, the fact that it is owned by Facebook means they most likely have a backdoor to access information from these messages. Use this app with extreme caution.

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