Facebook exposes the numbers of 2FA users in latest privacy drama

Used your phone number for Facebook’s two factor authentication? If so, Facebook will now let people look you using your phone number, and there’s no way to opt out.

Facebook is attracting heavy criticism for this latest controversy, which sees users that have given their phone number to the social networking site for the purposes of 2FA being made available for people to use as part of the phone number lookup.

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This has reportedly been the case with Facebook for a long time, but it’s come to prominence on social media this week after tweets from Jeremy Burge, the chief emoji officer for website Emojipedia, highlighting that while you can limit who can search for you by phone number, you can’t turn it off completely. The settings are to let everyone, friends of friends or just friends. This means you can somewhat lock it down, but it’s far from a perfect situation.

Burge’s chain of tweets may not be sharing anything new, and indeed Facebook has stated that this has always been the case, but it highlights an awkward issue for people nervous about how searchable they are online.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has caught flak for its use of mobile numbers handed over solely for 2FA. Last year, Gizmodo broke the news that Facebook was using 2FA phone numbers to let advertisers target people.

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You can also use the third-party authentication apps for 2FA with Facebook, and it seems with these recent privacy breaches, it might be a smarter idea for the privacy conscious.

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