Facebook 2FA phone numbers searchable, users can't opt out

Facebook 2FA phone numbers searchable, users can't opt out

That is, they gave their phone number to Facebook for security, and Facebook continues to prove that it's using that number for much more.

Users find they can't opt out of Facebook's phone number search function. 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".

Twitter user Jeremy Burge, who runs the website Emojipedia, recently discovered that Facebook users can not opt out of letting others "look up" their account using the phone number they provided for two-factor authentication (2FA), TechCrunch reports.

Last year, Facebook was forced to admit that after months of pestering its users to switch on two-factor by signing up their phone number, it was also using those phone numbers to target users with ads. This was also reported previous year by Gizmodo where if a user gives Facebook a phone number two-factor, it "became targetable by an advertiser within a couple of weeks".

Burge goes on to point out in a later tweet that the 2FA phone number is also shared with Instagram and triggers a prompt asking "is this your phone number?" when you first add it to Facebook. Scroll down to How People Can Find and Contact You, and look for "Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?"

As TechCrunch reported this weekend, the social network has a vast trove of phone numbers in its database, some of which are associated with internet users who aren't even on Facebook.




And if you're not regularly keeping up to date with these features - say, through technology news outlets like us - it's frighteningly hard to address privacy issues you aren't even aware of.

Facebook previous year amended its solicitation to submit a phone number with a link explaining that the number would be used for other purposes.

'Now it can be searched and there's no way to disable that'. Once again, Facebook was using a phone number, which users provided for security, for their own financial gain. "Under the platform's privacy settings, users are only able to select three options, namely "everyone", friends", and "friends of friends".

In September 2018, the company was found to be using 2FA numbers for the objective of ad-targeting. 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 is now caught up in another privacy issue.

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

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.

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