Facebook Messenger Update for iPhone Brings App Lock, Advanced Privacy Settings

BY Asif Shaik

Published 22 Jul 2020

Facebook Messenger App Lock iPhone iOS

Ever since Facebook was embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica user data and privacy scandal, the company has been taking active measures to improve users’ trust. It has added various privacy and data protection features over the past year. Today, the social media giant has announced that it is bringing additional privacy and security features to Facebook Messenger.

Facebook is rolling out two new privacy features for Facebook Messenger on iOS and Android. You can use these features to control who can see your chats and who can contact you. First, the App Lock feature allows you to protect chats using biometric authentication options such as Face ID and Touch ID. This feature is meant to prevent others from accessing your conversations when they borrow your phone. The feature is available on all compatible iOS devices and coming to Android after a few months.

The company is also rolling out a centralized section within the app where you can access all privacy and security related settings such as App Lock, Blocked People, and more. Facebook is also rolling out new controls that you can use to choose who can contact you via calls or messages. Depending on your choices, call or message requests from family, friends, or others are filtered.

When someone you don’t know tries to reach you on Facebook Messenger, their requests are stored into the Message Requests folder. The world’s largest social media company will also release a feature that blurs images that are sent by people you don’t know so that you don’t have to see those images before blocking, replying, or reporting an account, if needed.

Our Take

As the world’s biggest social media company, Facebook controls data of over two billion people worldwide. In the Cambridge Analytica scandal, data of over 87 million Facebook users was improperly accessed, and last year, the company found out that passwords of millions of users were stored in plain text.

Facebook’s latest attempt to improve user data privacy and security is only the least it can do to make its users feel more secure. It can do much more and learn from how Apple has been taking privacy and security seriously over the past few years and going the extra mile to add more features to its products.

[Source: Facebook Newsroom]