“As Mad as Hell” & I’m Gonna Sit Here & Take It…?

mad as hellIf you were around in the 70’s, you may remember this scene from the movie Network. Or you’ve probably heard it referred to in a myriad of instances.

Here we are–almost 40 years later…these words by character Howard Beale still ring true:

  • things are bad…
  • everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job…the dollar buys a nickel’s worth…
  • We know the air is unfit to breath and our food is unfit to eat.
  • …it’s like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don’t go out anymore…we sit in the house, and slowly, the world we’re living in is getting smaller…and all we say is ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms…let me have my toaster, my tv and steel belted radials, and I won’t say anything.’

Well, it’s time to say something. messengerThe Facebook Messenger app update recently got everyone’s panties in a bunch because of privacy and “Permissions.” Here’s what I’ve agreed Messenger can do on my smartphone:

“This application can access the following on your device:

  • directly call phone numbers-this may cost you money
  • read phone status and identity
  • edit your text messages
  • read your text messages
  • receive text messages
  • send text messages-this may cost you money
  • take pictures and videos
  • record audio
  • approximate location
  • precise location
  • read call log
  • read your contacts
  • read your own contact card
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • find accounts on the device
  • read Google service configuration
  • change network connectivity
  • Download files without notification
  • full network access
  • receive data from Internet
  • view network connections
  • view Wi-Fi connections
  • run at startup
  • draw over other apps
  • control vibration
  • prevent phone from sleeping
  • change your audio settings
  • read sync settings
  • install shortcuts

Ok…some of that is understandable; some needs clarification. But it’s definitely a scary set of Permissions. And I agreed to it. And then I uninstalled ‘cuz I saw a Facebook post bringing it to the attention of the public. Then I reinstalled since OMG, MOST OF THE OTHER APPS ON MY PHONE DO THE SAME THING! (And I wanted the convenience of Messenger.)

The reason I’m writing this post is not to make you aware of the Messenger Permissions issue (you’ve probably heard about it already)–but to make you aware that most of your apps are doing these things already…they can take pictures with your phone, record audio, download files without notification, and lots more!

The regular Facebook app (the one you use to access your Facebook page) can do most of the above list PLUS a few more, including “add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owner’s knowledge” and “read calendar events plus confidential information.”

Did you know this? Have you checked your Permissions lately? HOW TO see what you’ve agreed to:

Go to your account Settings on your phone and find Application Manager (that’s on an android; I’m not sure how to do it on iPhone). Then select each installed app…scroll down to see what Permissions you’ve agreed to.

And, guess what? There’s nothing we can do about it. Unless, of course, you want to uninstall most of your apps and use the phone like a phone only…lol!

“I’m a human being, goddammit. My life has value!”

It’s time to let apps developers know that we’re “as mad as hell!” But how? idk…I’m working with my teen sons on some solutions and will post them soon. In the meantime, READ your Permissions. And squawk about it as much as possible…so apps developers won’t get more ballsy and really make it impossible to feel comfortable using your phone.

Hopefully, my “story” won’t end like (SPOILER ALERT!) Howard Beale’s did (click for last 5 minutes of movie)

—————————————————————————-

Additional information: my Bookkeeper, Jennifer Darrow, shared these good articles…they certainly explain WHY the apps developers are making these Permissions, but HOW far they’re going to go concerns me.

Facebook Messenger: Are the Terms of Service as Bad as You Think?

Facebook Messenger (snopes.com)

And this 60 Minutes segment about Data Brokers (scroll in to 3:00)–this will require another blog post!

6 comments on ““As Mad as Hell” & I’m Gonna Sit Here & Take It…?Add yours →

  1. that is crazy that 40 years ago there were all these issues, we ranted, and after all this time (progress), we still have all the same issues! I think the word myriad should not have ‘a’ before it. in your list one of the bullets is capitalized where none of the others are. I don’t like the use of ‘gonna’ or ‘cuz’. putting out this awareness of what all those apps are doing behind the curtain is very important, and for people to realize that they voluntarily agreed to it, and that there is an immediate solution (to uninstall the apps). I laughed about you un-installing then re-installing! I don’t think ‘ballsy’ is a real word! maybe use the word ‘overambitious’ or ‘impudent’. poor howard beales’ story ended abruptly! that’s cool to add the end clip from the movie (and mention spoiler alert). and you were so thorough to add the related articles! nice blog sis!

  2. Dear L’il Sis! Love your comment!

    * did a search about the use of “myriad”–did you know it meant “10,000?”–like archaically? So, you’re right…”a” maybe shouldn’t be there (there are lots of answers to this issue). BUT, personally, I cannot write “Or you’ve probably heard it referred to in myriad of instances.” I suppose I could change the word, but I don’t want to. 🙂

    * I LOVE that you caught that one capitalization in the bullets…I USUALLY catch that for my clients. You are good!

    * “gonna” “‘cuz” “ballsy”–I decided, when I started “blogging” that I was gonna use my own style. I’m always editing things to make them “right.” When I blog, I write what I want. So there.

    * Understand that this blog post is VERY basic. I truly don’t know what goes on “behind the curtain” (and I always wonder…who REALLY knows what goes on…I think the Wizard of Oz does, but he’s a fake anyway. So there you go). I just want to point things out to those who understand less than I.
    * the “immediate solution” to uninstall is a stupid solution. You can’t do that. Or you’ll be using your smartphone like a phone…ONLY. I’m working on a few pointers…a quick preview–DO NOT put all your contact info on your phone; only put what is necessary (more details to come).

    * The related articles were from my Bookkeeper, Jennifer. I think she wants to be something else though. She jumped at the opportunity to search out stuff about apps and Permissions (I didn’t ask her; she saw my Facebook post that I shared about Messenger).

    AND, when I got your email:
    “jem, I realized AFTER I sent my ‘comment’ to your web site that everybody can see it too! it’s not just a private critique between us! I’m very new to this stuff!”

    …I knew then that your “comment” needed to be approved. This is exactly the type of stuff I want (I have my settings so I “approve” comments…so if I didn’t want it, I wouldn’t approve it).

    C O N V E R S A T I O N is what blogging is about! (yes, I know I just ended a sentence w/a preposition. Oh, if you were blogging, you could do your preposition song!)

    I know Miles would have been a wicked blogger! I told him that. But he resisted. I think you should be a blogger.

    So, thank you Joyce for your comment!

    1. This is your big sister, since my details won’t provide that information.

      I did not even consider installing Facebook Messenger because, quite frankly, I don’t need yet another method for people to contact me. If someone really wants to get in touch, they can send me real mail. My address is all over the internet, which is quite fine because I use a PO box.

      I also don’t trust Facebook, or Google, or Amazon, or most other providers of the sites and apps I use to ever think of me first. I generate a goodly amount of “big data” and there are ways I could use that to also generate income for me, but it would mean I would have to spend even more time online, and I have too much paint and glue and paper to use up to be spending any more time on the internet.

      I looked at the privacy settings on my iPhone and I don’t see anything on any of the apps that concerns me. Maybe my SO will tell me otherwise when I alert him to this post. He is very careful about security and privacy.

      Most of all I love that Joyce commented.

      1. Hey Big Sis!
        I like FB Messenger since I don’t “do” email on my phone (way too cumbersome)…and yes, “real mail” is a great way to communicate–just kinda slow. BUT, consider this: what if your peeps put your PO box, email, etc., in their phone and they use apps that allow all those Permissions? You have NO control over that. Therefore, even if you don’t have invading apps, your info is being collected…

        Spending time online is what I do. I love the paper/glue/paint thing too…you should see how much paper I have all over my floor (lol! gotta get to IKEA for a solution at some point). My tagline used to be “Your Paperwork, My Job…Virtually.” And I may just go back to it.

        Let me know what your SO (it took me a moment to understand that there wasn’t a typo in that sentence) thinks. I’m planning to blog about options to blocking certain Permissions (sons have a few suggestions) and other ways to help keep those bad guys outta our business. I’d love to hear Mr. Safe & Secure’s suggestions!

        btw, Joyce would never have commented if she knew it was going public! We’ve gotta get her on FB!

        Oh, ya, re: ranting about approving comments…omg! you posted it at, like, almost 6 pm; I had Booster Club/MIAA duty…I got to it as soon as I could 🙂

          1. Hi Mom!
            We’re talking about apps that are on your phone…and internet privacy in general (“internet privacy” is the ultimate oxymoron, btw). And unfortunately, if we want to do what we want on the internet (search, buy, play, be social), we give up our privacy. That’s just the way it is.

            So, I’m going to blog about ways to try to keep nosy online big shots out of your business. That’s the “plant stand” anyway…

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