The safety attribute – designed only to authenticate your identity on the social media platform – may have left your phone number open for others to see, even to advertisers to familiarize you with their advertisements, USA Today reported Monday.
The debate was initiated by Jeremy Burge, who runs the website Emojipedia, saying amounts added to use two-factor authentication proved now searchable.
“Facebook 2FA amounts are also shared with Instagram which prompts you’is that your telephone number?’ WhatsApp also shares phone numbers with Facebook. Facebook shares phone numbers with advertisers,” said Burge in a series of tweets.
“For years Facebook claimed… adding a phone number for 2FA was only for safety. Now it could be searched and there’s no way to disable this,” Burge added.
Last September, Gizmodo reported that Facebook also uses security advice to target adverts.
In a statement to the Guardian, Facebook said it’s been receiving questions regarding two-factor authentication and phone number settings on Facebook.
“Two-factor authentication is an important security feature, and last year we included the choice to set it up for your accounts without registering a phone number. Separately, the’Who will look me up?’ Preferences are not new and are not specific to two-factor authentication,” the statement read.
“In April 2018we eliminated the ability to enter another person’s phone number or email address to the Facebook search bar to help find a person’s profile.”
Facebook”can not credibly require 2FA for insecure accounts without realising that from search and advertisements,” Stamos tweeted.