Facebook Messenger app for mobile started off with a shaky entry: Millions of users were forced to download Facebook Messenger app on their mobiles last year. But ok, no problem, there was no other option. But the privacy concerns rapidly surged. People said Facebook wants to track user data and activity for ads money. But nothing was with evidence. But a new bombshell has been dropped which shows how easy it is for anyone to track your location using Facebook’s Messenger app. At the same time, this is a good news for the stalkers who just can’t stop stalking people, their activity and most importantly, their location.
Aran Khanna, a student developer in Cambridge, MA has developed a Chrome extension which plots the map of all your Facebook friends who are using Messenger app by taking their Facebook Messenger app data without them knowing.
The only requirement is that the location must be on in the phone of the person whose location you want to track. Phone location is mostly on by default in iPhones, Android phones. Any app using the location could conceal the location clear enough for this app to plot the map.
The name of this extension which has been making headlines lately because of its powerful privacy breach is called ‘Marauder’s Map’ (you won’t understand this name if you haven’t read the Harry Potter series 😉 ).
Marauder’s Map is so powerful that it could plot the location graph of a friend from the past as well. So if the location was on and a message was sent using the mobile, the location of the user at that instant will be plotted on the map.
Mostly, the location data is enabled in Facebook Messenger by default when you install it. A majority goes on quickly in a hurry to install it and start chatting. So, you could easily use this exploit to get the locations. If you want your own privacy, I would suggest to completely turn off the Facebook location data from the app settings.