It seems that Facebook is in the spotlight all over again and not for the right reasons.
As you know by now, the platform asks users to add their phone number as an extra security measure.
But it seems that now users are shocked to find out that their numbers are also used as a way to look up their profiles.
What’s worse is that their profiles can even be targeted with ads and there’s no option to opt out of this, CNBC reports.
TechCrunch was the first to report the feature after Jeremy Burge who’s running Emojipedia called this whole thing out via Twitter last week.
As a user, you can hide your phone number from the general public and restrict who can look you up by phone number.
You can do this by switching the setting from “everyone” to “friends of friends” or just “friends.”
Facebook doesn’t let you get rid of the look-up option entirely.
“That means if a user’s setting allows “everyone” to look them up by phone number, even a person without a Facebook account could find their page on the site,” according to CNBC.
For years Facebook claimed the adding a phone number for 2FA was only for security. Now it can be searched and there's no way to disable that. pic.twitter.com/zpYhuwADMS
— Jeremy Burge ?? (@jeremyburge) March 1, 2019
Facebook will take users’ opinions into account
This issue about the use of your phone number by Facebook comes after the platform’s plans to integrate its messaging service across Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram have been revealed.
Here’s what Facebook reportedly told CNBC:
The settings “are not new and are not specific to two-factor authentication. In April 2018, we removed the ability to enter another person’s phone number or email address into the Facebook search bar to help find someone’s profile. Today, the ‘Who can look me up?’ settings control how your phone number or email address can be used to look you up in other ways, such as when someone uploads your contact info to Facebook from their mobile phone.”
Facebook concluded by saying “We appreciate the feedback we’ve received about these settings and will take it into account.”
After finishing Theatrical Journalism at the Faculty of Theatre and Television in Cluj-Napoca, Rada reviewed movies, books, theatre pieces and she also wrote articles from the IT niche as a content editor for software producers. At the moment, she is working with various online advertising firms.