Oh hey, so Facebook collected lots of phone numbers in order to set up two-factor authentication for users (this is a good thing) but now has decided that the phone numbers they got to implement a security protocol can now be used to look you up. And no, you can’t opt out of it, the best you can do is limit this to “friends,” but that doesn’t happen by default, so 90% of users aren’t ever going to change this setting. So ha ha, you gave Facebook your phone number, game over. Suckers.
Last year it came to light that Facebook was using the phone numbers people submitted to the company solely so they could protect their accounts with 2FA for targeted advertising. And now, as security researcher and New York Times columnist Zeynep Tufekci pointed out, Facebook is allowing anyone to look up a user by their phone number, the same phone number that was supposed to be for security purposes only.
So, that’s that! There is a way to fix this problem, of course; deleting your Facebook account, and it has a lot of additional benefits!
I’m sure a lot will be written about this – what were they thinking? Why would they do this? It’s all a bit pointless. They do this because they can use it to squeeze some more revenue out of data about you, and Zuck and Sheryl will coo about connecting the world and whatnot, but ultimately, it’s a fairly ruthless business plan to monetize your personal activity, and what you may think about it, or your desire for some level of privacy in your life is beside the point. In short: Facebook does not care and will do whatever they want with your data. It’s a garbage operation that exposes its users to various privacy risks and will do so as long as they can sucker enough marks into their game.
So I’m just gonna leave it with Gaga.