Science & Tech

The problem with Facebook's new app

Facebook has just released a new app for Android called 'Hello', which is basically a version of Caller ID that gives people information about who is calling them even if they do not have that number saved on their phone.

Hello only allows people to see information they would already be able to find on Facebook, and was made by the team who created Messenger.

But hours after launch Damon Beres of the Huffington Post reported on what could be a serious problem with the app: it can accidentally show dead loved ones are calling you.

When I downloaded the "Hello" app to my smartphone, I swiped over to my call history and was startled to find that my friend's younger brother Oliver was showing up instead of him -- even though he passed away two years ago.

A spokesperson for the social network told Beres the issue was due to how phone numbers are set up on Facebook. Oliver's brother's had his phone number registered under Oliver's account, which is why his name came up on 'Hello'. The family cannot change this as they no longer have access to Oliver's page.

Facebook have explicitly said Hello is in the testing stage, so some of these kinks may be ironed out. Until then, be aware that Hello will pull in the primary number associated with an account - and that does not always mean it will always be the telephone number displayed on a person's profile.

More: Hundreds turn up to 10-year-old's birthday party after mother's Facebook plea

The Conversation (0)