Facebook Isn't Keeping Your 2FA Phone Number Private

Facebook Logo. Image Reuters

Facebook users have been urged to provide their phone number as a way to make it more hard for unauthorized parties to log in to their account. Well, Facebook may have your phone number and they're allowing anyone in the world to find your account! In this manner, every Facebook account tied to a phone number is searchable to "everyone" by default, or to "friends or friends" or just "friends". Last year, Gizmodo reported that when Facebook users entered a phone number for two-factor authentication or to get alerts about new log-ins to their account, advertisers were able to target that number. Don't confuse what's going on here with hiding your phone number from your profile, that still won't prevent people from searching for you using your number.

Users have taken to Twitter to complain that this means Facebook has been using people's phone numbers to help them find each other when uploading their contacts - and there is no way to opt out. In one of his tweets, Jeremy includes a menu of options from Facebook showing that users do have some choices about who's allowed to look them up by their phone numbers. That linking allows anyone to search for a Facebook profile using the phone number. Two-factor authentication is an important security feature, and previous year we added the option to set it up for your account without registering a phone number. This can be found in the "Privacy" section of your Facebook account settings under, "How People Find and Contact You" option. "All someone needs to do, conceivably, to exploit this new "feature" from Facebook is to punch in random cell phone numbers until they hit paydirt and discover a corresponding identity".

'Now it can be searched and there's no way to disable that'.

The setting, available in the "Privacy" tab, is set to "everyone" by default and you'll have to change it to "friends" or "friends of friends".

Facebook Privacy for phone numbers
Facebook Privacy for phone numbers

The firm introduced a way to use third-party authentication apps in lieu of phone numbers in May 2018. To add Facebook, open the authenticator app, tap to add a new account, and either scan a QR code or enter a code provided by Facebook.

Facebook continues exploiting users privacy and this one involves your phone number.

If, it is, just click on the Remove Phone Number.

But companies are keen to use people's phone number as a way to identify them across multiple services, making it easy to gather more data on them. "No other entity does this, it's not industry standard, and of course is yet another way Facebook compromises user information". 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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