No, Samsung isn’t pre-installing Facebook on your phone

10 January, 2019, 23:42 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • Samsung users see this page when they try to delete Facebook app.                  Screenshot by Carrie Mihalcik  CNET

These apps each have an install base from 10 to 500 million, and they include educational tool Duolingo, flight search engine Skyscanner, travel site Kayak and job database Indeed.

This information caused quite a stir yesterday after an article from Bloomberg started making the rounds on Twitter.

The pre-installed "Facebook app" on these Samsung phones is merely a placeholder which prompts users to download updates to the main Facebook app. A media report notes that Facebook app that comes pre-installed on Samsung Galaxy phones can not be uninstalled.

The absence of an option to remove the Facebook app from Galaxy smartphones is not due to technical limitations, but because of financial considerations involved in the deals made by Samsung with other companies to preinstall their apps.

But Facebook, which has spent the past year apologizing for security breaches and data privacy scandals, is the one drawing ire about its irrevocable presence on Samsung's phones.

Facebook said in a statement that the app does not collect data or transmit it to Facebook's servers once it's been hidden.

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What do you think about not being able to delete Facebook on some Samsung devices? A T-Mobile Galaxy S9 comes with Facebook and Amazon preinstalled, but also Google apps like YouTube, Google Play Music, and Gmail. There is no complete list available online, and consumers may not know if Facebook is pre-loaded unless they specifically ask a customer service representative when they purchase a phone. Facebook has been caught collecting data on users even if they don't even have an account, nevermind if they are logged in or not.

"It's only recently that people have become to understand that these apps really power the spy in your pocket", Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy Jeff Chester told Bloomberg.

Other companies including LG, Sony, Verizon, and AT&T have similar deals with app makers, the report notes. "Time to move on".

Apple Inc., whose iPhone is the top-selling smartphone in the USA, doesn't pre-install Facebook or any other third-party apps on its new phones.

In December, Justin McMurry, whose Twitter handle is @BoutSebm, wrote that he considered Facebook a privacy threat. In some cases, you can uninstall the app but in a lot of cases, the app cannot be removed and you are forced to disable it instead if you don't want to use the app. "If I can't delete it, this will be the last Samsung product I ever own".

Samsung claims that such arrangements are made in order to provide "the best" experience to users.

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