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Facebook Uses Two-Factor Authentication Phone Numbers to Help Users Find You

05 March, 2019, 08:25 | Author: Vicki Mclaughlin
  • Facebook phone numbers used for security can be used to look you

People can still search for you even after hiding your phone number when someone uploads your contact information to Facebook from their mobile phone but is way harder than using their phone number since facebook put up measures that limit how often people could search after being warned by security researchers that user account information could be scrapped by scammers. Facebook had admitted past year to using the data collected under the guise of security to target users with advertisements. The problem for users is that when Facebook associates the phone number with their accounts, the user's profiles are linked with the phone numbers. "We appreciate the feedback we've received about these settings and will take it into account".

Users are given three options for who can search with this information: Everyone, Friends of friends, and Friends. First and foremost, there's a good reason to suspect the social networking service's two-factor authentication feature is about further weakening user privacy much more than it is about strengthening security.

A reporter with The Telegraph was alarmed when her profile could be searched using her phone number which she had never given to Facebook.

Facebook told TechCrunch that this is not a new situation, which is true, and we've known that the platform uses phone numbers for ad tracking since last September. 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. In other words, people can search for your phone number on Facebook and associate that to your name and other information, even though the goal for which you shared your number with Facebook in the first place was entirely different. Your phone number becomes a bridge across services, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

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Not mentioned on its help page is the fact that Facebook uses phone numbers for advertising.

Since 2011, Facebook has asked users for their phone numbers in order to enable "two-factor authentication", a common account security feature that sends a text message whenever a login is attempted.

Sadly, the same can't be said about Facebook. That's a goal Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has reportedly been pursuing for years, as a recently revealed cache of documents suggests.



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