How to stop Facebook Messenger knowing your phone contacts

Facebook and Facebook Messenger can import details of your mobile phone contacts. If you don't want the service to hold such sensitive data, it’s easy to stop the two syncing up.

Over the weekend, as more and more people have been downloading a full copy of their Facebook data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s become apparent that Facebook has access to your mobile phone contacts.

To stop Facebook accessing your contacts, follow these easy steps in both Facebook and Facebook Messenger.

[Read more: How to set up Facebook privacy settings]

Delete any contacts Facebook already has

delete all

To see which of your contacts Facebook already has details of, go to this webpage - https://www.facebook.com/mobile/messenger/contacts/.

Press Delete All.

Stop Facebook Messenger knowing your contacts (iOS)

Facebook

Open up Facebook Messenger and click on your profile picture in the top left-hand corner.

Scroll down to reach People.

Under Sync Contacts make sure the toggle is off.

Stop Facebook Messenger knowing your contacts (Android)

facebook

Open up Facebook Messenger and click your profile picture in the top right-hand corner.

Click People.

Under Synced Contacts make sure the toggle is off.  

[Read more: Fed up with seeing so many Facebook posts? Here’s how to take control of your News Feed]

Stop Facebook knowing your contacts (iOS)

facebook

Open up Facebook and press the three horizontal lines icon in the bottom right hand corner.

Go to Settings – Account Settings.

facebook

Click on General – Upload contacts.

Make sure Upload contacts is turned off.

You will need to do this on each device where you are signed in on Facebook.

Stop Facebook knowing your contacts (Android)

FACEBOOK

Open up Facebook and tap the three horizontal line icon.

Click App Settings.

Click Continuous Contact Upload to turn the setting on and off.

In a statement released on March 25, Facebook said that: “We never sell this data, and this feature does not collect the content of your text messages or calls”.

"Your information is securely stored and we do not sell this information to third parties."

[Read more: Fed up of Facebook? How to deactivate and delete your account]

More from BT