Facebook Has No Privacy Settings To Hide Phone Numbers

07 March, 2019, 12:25 | Author: Rodolfo Hawkins
  • Facebook is facing a new wave of criticism for two-factor authentication shenanigans

Facebook has once again come under fire for allowing users to be searchable using their mobile numbers without including an option to disable the feature.

The good news is that while you can't opt out, you can control who can look up your profile using your phone number. It can be restricted to "Friends of friends" or just "Friends", but the option default is "Everyone".

Facebook allows users to add phone numbers to their profile, but also encourages the use of a phone number for 2FA on their accounts. But this has led to utter chaos as many users received a non-security-related SMS notification after signing up for the two-factor authentication (2FA) security feature.

For example, when Facebook asks a user to upload their contact book to find friends, if that contact book includes your phone number, Facebook can use it to find your profile. Then click "Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?" and change the dropdown box from "Everyone" to "Friends". However, the recent discovery has only intensified concerns stemming from the way Facebook handles user data.

But here's what you can do if you want to protect yourself as much as you can: Under "Settings", find "Privacy", and you'll find information on how people can find and contact you.

To cap it off, Burge suggests this new reliance on the phone number is Facebook's reaction to data regulations like GDPR. "Now it can be searched and there's no way to disable that", Burge added. Your phone number becomes a bridge across services, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

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In September 2018, the company was found to be using 2FA numbers for the objective of ad-targeting.

He has some simple advice for Facebook users: "TL;DR: Login-with-Phone-Number is the new Login-with-Facebook". Researchers from Princeton University and Northeastern University in the USA a year ago examined how Facebook uses personally identifiable information supplied by users.

Currently, Facebook states numbers will be used "to help secure your account and more" but Burge claims the last two words were only added after it drew flak for ad-targeting.

The 2FA security practice also drew criticism from Facebook's former chief information security officer Alex Stamos.

As per the given reports, In response to a tweet by a page administrator looking to this serious issue, several numbers of people forced Facebook to respond to users issue and problems and media reports. But Facebook will even let you be targeted for ads through phone numbers INCLUDING THOSE PROVIDED *ONLY* FOR SECOND FACTOR AUTHENTICATION, ' Tufecki added in a follow-up tweet.

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