Messenger & Messenger Kids
Review date: 04/23/2020
What could happen if something goes wrong
With Facebook-owned apps we always worry there is a good deal that could go wrong. Facebook has a long history of not handling people's personal data with care. In 2019, Bloomberg reported that Facebook hired contractors to transcribe audio messages users sent through Messenger and Facebook confirmed the report. Facebook says it doesn't use the content of messages to choose which ads to show you. But Facebook makes no such claim about the other types of insights tucked inside your messaging app — who you’re speaking to, when you speak to them, and other types of metadata. Also, Facebook markets the Messenger Kids app to children under the age of 13, so parents who let their young children use Facebook Messenger Kids should pay close attention to what their kids share.
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
Everyone with a Facebook account has access to Messenger. To sign up for Facebook, an email or phone number is required.
What data does it collect?
How does it use this data?
How are your recordings handled?
Alerts when calls are being recorded?
Video calls can't be recorded within Messenger. Third party apps do exist that allow for call recording in Messenger however.
Does the platform say it is compliant with US medical privacy laws?
Messenger is not HIPAA compliant
Links to privacy information
Can I control it?
Is it easy to learn and use the features?
Facebook Messenger is very simple to learn and has an easy to understand help page at https://www.messenger.com/features
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Messenger uses encryption but does not use end-to-end encryption by default. People using the Messenger app on iOS and Android can opt-in to "Secret Conversations" that do use end-to-end encryption.
A strong password is required
Facebook pushes out regular Messenger updates
Facebook has a bug bounty program