A new app, Facebook Chat Pro, lets users change their notifications, turn off the feature that allows users to see whether or not a message’s recipient has read the message, and disable the “…is typing” message when a user is composing a reply.
The app currently functions as a browser extension for Google Chrome and is NOT created by Facebook. The app gives users the ability to disable notifications for five, ten, 30 or 60 minutes. It also protects user privacy by letting them hide their typing and whether or not they have read a message.
Facebook has undergone many privacy changes in the past year, and has also taken its fair share of heat from consumer privacy advocates. Facebook Chat has often been the subject of privacy questions; last year, Facebook revealed that it monitors the contents of private Facebook messages, but that it’s only looking for evidence of criminal behavior.
“We’ve never wanted to set up an environment where we have employees looking at private communications, so it’s really important that we use technology that has a very low false-positive rate,” Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan said at that time.
If you want your info to remain private, it’s best not to discuss it on Facebook at all. However, if you want to shield yourself from the prying eyes of your fellow Facebook Chat-ers, this browser extension app can help you cover your tracks.
A word of caution about the extension – the following permissions are requested at installation:
- Access your data on all websites
- Access your tabs and browsing activity
Keep this in mind if you think it’s worth the risk. If you like the features of the extension but not the permissions, you could disable while browsing other sites or use Chrome just for Facebook and nothing else. That’s too much trouble for us, so personally, we decided to skip it.