In Android Oreo on Samsung’s Galaxy phones, one of the new features included with the update is something called “App Permission Monitor.” With this, you can choose to get a notification when applications in the background are using certain permissions (like your microphone, camera, etc.) that you may not be aware of otherwise.
It’s a great tool and can be genuinely useful at times, but for whatever reason, some users have been reporting that Facebook-developed apps aren’t showing up here at all.
I checked my Galaxy S9 running Oreo, and sure enough, Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram don’t show up in the App Permission Monitor list despite being installed on the phone. Daniel here at AC also isn’t seeing Facebook in his list but can control settings for Messenger Lite and Instagram. In addition to those, we’ve also been told that WhatsApp (another Facebook-owned app) doesn’t show up in some instances either.
That may not seem like a huge deal at first, but it essentially means that you have no way of knowing if any of these apps are using things like your camera, location, and microphone at any time in the background. If you’re at all concerned about your privacy, that’s far from ideal.
It’s unclear what exactly is causing this anomaly, but one suspicion is that it has something to do with Facebook being a pre-installed app on select Samsung phones and therefore being treated in a different manner.
We’ve reached out to Samsung for an official explanation, and if/when we receive one, we’ll update this article accordingly.
If you want to check this out for yourself to see if Facebook’s apps are showing up for you, grab a Galaxy phone running Oreo and go to Settings -> Lock screen and security -> App permission monitor.
5 changes that would make the Galaxy S9’s software dramatically better