It looks like Facebook loves to annoy its users by playing loose and fast user privacy and data protection. Most of us haven’t been yet recovered from the Cambridge Analytica scandal trauma, its Android app has been caught for asking ‘Superuser’ permission into the users’ phones.
For the last couple of days, Android users have been asking for ‘Superuser’ access to their devices. If they deny the request, it continuous to asking until they grant permission. This has freaked out some users, leading them to look at various internet forums for the explanation of such suspicious pop-ups.
If you’re not aware, superuser mode (also known as root access or God mode) can access the root to your device and can leave it vulnerable to any security and data leak risks.
“Today I was browsing Facebook when suddenly I got a superuser request popup,” one user wrote on XDA developer forums. “Could anyone explain why Facebook needs SU permissions?”
Another user replied, “Same happened to me too. Started yesterday afternoon. Facebook last updated 1 day ago, so it must have to do something with new version.”
— Emanuel Caesar (@emanuelcaesar) May 17, 2018
Bleeping Computer spoke with several Android security researchers who said it could possibly be a coding error.
“The dialog started popping up on users that are in the beta channel. Along with other various checks. Facebook is probably integrating WhiteOps SDK, and they forgot to re-implement the ROOT checking functionality,” said Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Avast mobile security researcher who took a look at the Facebook Android app’s source code.
A Facebook spokesperson later confirmed that ‘Superuser’ permission pop-up was due to a coding error and apologized for that. “We do not need or want these permissions, and we have already fixed this issue. We apologize for any confusion,” the company said.
Android users can now breathe a sigh of relief as the issue has been fixed. However, the issue has come at the wrong time, adding more fuel to the fire.