The Tech Bet

Justified or not? Outrage over Facebook Messenger

Christina Medici Scolaro
Outrage over Facebook Messenger
Outrage over Facebook Messenger

Facebook users are worried, some even outraged, over privacy issues concerning its new app—Facebook Messenger—but are the fears warranted?

Messenger doesn't require users to give up any more personal information than what it already has with the current app. Yet, many users are voicing concerns about the permissions they have to agree to before downloading the app. The app needs permission to use the camera, or to find contacts from a contact list, but its only when the user summons the app to do these things.

Facebook posted a blog announcing some of the changes that would come with the new messaging app a few months ago, but the public may have needed a little more hand-holding, according to John Simons, media and technology editor at the Associated Press.

Facebook's Messenger app displayed on a smartphone.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

"What this really is, is a public relations gaffe on the part of Facebook," he said.

The confusion seems to have stemmed from Android. "The app when you install it, it explains in a list what it needs permission to do, and this is the list that frightened a lot people initially," Simons said. "That doesn't mean it sort of willy nilly goes about contacting friends or recording you as you go about your day using your phone's camera," he added.

Simons thinks the public will come to grips with the reality of things. "I think eventually the real explanation will get out and Facebook will bounce back from this," Simons said.

—By CNBC's Christina Medici Scolaro