We have moved to a new Sailfish OS Forum. Please start new discussions there.

Does Jolla send my address book to facebook if I sync contacts? [answered]

asked 2014-01-04 10:54:00 +0300

kylihars gravatar image

updated 2014-02-26 23:40:35 +0300

---- I have asked this question about two months ago and would really appreciate an answer from Jolla. Could the folks developing the FB integration please give us a knowledgeable answer ?? ----

I came across upsetting articles about phone numbers of my personal address book being collected by facebook WITHOUT PERMISSION or NOTIFICATION. This has happened in phones when adding facebook details to people in the phone's address book (using "sync contacts").

I do not trust facebook with my own or friends' phone numbers and am worried about privacy. It should be possible technology-wise to pull the contacts from facebook without sending anything. But I have an ill hunch that's not the way FB have implemented their APIs.

I have regrettably already used the "sync contacts" feature on Jolla.

I would really like to know: 1. Did my Jolla phone actually send all my private phone numbers to facebook? 2. Is there a way to keep the downloaded contact data, such as FB photos added to the phone's contact book, without sending any new new contact information to FB after disabling "sync contacts"?

Here are two particularly informative articles about FB stealing phone numbers from smartphones. http://www.cauce.org/2011/08/facebook-has-stolen-all-the-contents-of-mobile-address-books-including-private-telephone-numbers.html http://www.theguardian.com/technology/blog/2010/oct/06/facebook-privacy-phone-numbers-upload Note that the facebook UI has changed after the aticles were written and all of my facebook-known phone numbers are no longer displayed in one place. This makes it more difficult to verify if facebook has stolen phone numbers or not.

If contacts cannot be synced using FB APIs without sending the address book to FB, could Jolla please put a nice big red warning sign for future users, such as "Your contacts will be sent to FB and become the property of FB forever. They will never really remove your contacts from their databases". This should be shown when a user is activating the sync with facebook.

edit retag flag offensive reopen delete

The question has been closed for the following reason "the question is answered, an answer was accepted" by dsilveira
close date 2014-09-10 20:49:12.951357



You should probably not use facebook at all if you are concerned about your privacy. Whatsapp is also collecting all your contacts.

Rule of thumb: If the service is free, you are the product being sold.

Cmdr_Zod ( 2014-01-04 11:01:05 +0300 )edit

Whatsapp works with phone numbers of your contacts, so is a little pointless IMHO to say that WA collecting contacts.. FB: one thing is to know all connections-likes-comments are taken under trace in someway, totally another is to learn that FB stole phone numbers from our phone.. (i dont use FB)

gordon_pcb_designer ( 2014-01-04 13:10:27 +0300 )edit

Collecting just phone numbers is as invasive. With little work connections can be made between numbers and names. However, using an app like the native Mitakuuluu (not yet in store afaik) gives you the option to sync just the contacts you want to. If you care about privacy, just use jabber with a public, or your own server.

clau ( 2014-01-06 14:52:57 +0300 )edit

Also, if you care about privacy, search for requests related to OTR (off-the-record) support and vote them up.

clau ( 2014-01-06 14:54:50 +0300 )edit

It would be interesting to know what Jolla syncs with Facebook in this case and also in case Android Facebook app is used. To remove synced contacts from Facebook you can however use this URL: https://www.facebook.com/contact_importer/remove_uploads.php (requires that you are logged in though).

Karri Huhtanen ( 2014-01-06 19:32:39 +0300 )edit

1 Answer

Sort by » oldest newest most voted

answered 2014-02-27 05:41:22 +0300

chris.adams gravatar image


The Facebook Sync adapter in the Jolla does not sync information up to Facebook, it only pulls information down into an on-device cache to enable a better user experience. This includes contacts, calendar events, images, and notifications.

Please note that the Google sync adapter will (starting from the coming update) sync changes you make to Google calendar events back up to Google servers, and in the future the same will be true for contact information, if you have enabled Google sync. You can disable the Google sync service if that is unacceptable to you.

I cannot speak for what third party applications (including applications written for Android) do, obviously.

Cheers, Chris.

edit flag offensive delete publish link more



@chris.adams So it would be very important to add an option-chapter "security settings" to SailfishOS to have a choice which app can have which rights!

zemideluxe ( 2014-02-27 08:38:55 +0300 )edit

i agree, the user should be aware about any syncing process and should be able to have explicit control which data to share or not.

pmelas ( 2014-02-27 10:03:53 +0300 )edit

@chris.adams my understanding is that calendars and contacts from different services, including personal contacts/calendars created locally, are kept in separate DBs on the device? When the device, for example, syncs with my google account, do all separate DBs are searched and sync with that service, or it only syncs with the local copy of contacts/calendar for that service only? If yes, then which services can do perform such a global sync? Is the user informed? Can users control the access?

pmelas ( 2014-03-29 23:41:17 +0300 )edit

They're not separate databases, but they are logically separated within the contacts database. Two-way sync of contacts will come in a future release, currently we only sync down contacts. The semantics we have implemented for two-way sync is: contacts which originate on the local device (ie, entered manually by the user on their device, or imported from a vCard or sent over MMS etc) will be considered "exportable" to a given service, along with contacts originating from that service. Contacts originating from different services will not be synced up, so our implementation avoids "contaminating" server-side data with data from other sources (except the local device).

We're still testing the feature heavily, as two-way sync is of course something which we don't want to get wrong. Yes, the user is informed (and they can choose between one-way (download only) sync versus two-way sync), but currently they cannot control the access (ie, what gets synced where). That may come in a later update, but we wanted to concentrate on the core functionality for now. We are, of course, open to suggestion if the community feels strongly one way or the other about this.

Hope that helps!

Cheers, Chris.

chris.adams ( 2014-03-31 04:11:14 +0300 )edit

@chris.adams, thanks for the reply and sorry for the wrong terminology I used. I am fine with the logical separation of contacts. I think the semantics to what and how is sync with other services is very important and the user should be informed adequately, and should have the option to control it. Personally I would like to have control, e.g. one, or two way communication, plus explicit list which contacts to be shared in a two way communication, (like Mitakuuluu does?).

pmelas ( 2014-03-31 11:35:43 +0300 )edit

Question tools



Asked: 2014-01-04 10:54:00 +0300

Seen: 1,921 times

Last updated: Feb 27 '14