Friday, April 12, 2013

Facebook Home Now Available, Looks Like A Security And Privacy Nightmare

Facebook's newly introduced Facebook Home UI for Android is now available for those owners of the HTC First, HTC One X, HTC One X+, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Samsung Galaxy Note II. The new Android launcher aims to bring a more "people-centric" view to your device and offers several changes and a more Facebook centric experience to Android.

For those that haven't had a chance to review the feature of the new app here is a quick rundown of what to expect. When you turn on a phone running Facebook Home, the lock screen and the home screen default to something called Cover feed. Cover feed is a running steeam from your News Feed, complete with post and images showing what your friends are currently sharing on their Facebook profiles. You will also see push notifications. These include updates from Facebook and other apps on your home screen. You can choose to move notifications away until you want to access them later or you can flick them away from view.

In addition to the Facebook centric side of the launcher you'll see a new app launcher that overwrites your standard view. From your profile bubble you'll be able to launch your phones apps, Facebook apps or even the messenger app.

Facebook Home Security and Privacy

When it was initially announced Facebook home faced sever scrutiny over privacy concerns, prompting Facebook to issue a response. This response however is very short sided and doesn't address any on device concerns. It more or less only address your concerns about how and what Facebook shares. The major concern should be with how the app handles security on the device, which is very poorly.

I download the app today and ran it on my Galaxy S III. Immediately I noticed you don't need to unlock the screen to see any of my friends or their posts. I re-adjusted my setting only to see that even with the highest level of protection my GS III offers (password), anyone with access to my phone did so in a totally unlocked state. This means not only can they see and comment on my Facebook (or my friends) they had total access to my personal info on my phone. COMPLETE CONTROL!

Needs to say I un-installed it as soon as I could! If you want to try to give it a go and see what I'm talking about for yourself visit the Google Play store.

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