Disabling This Facebook Phone Number Setting is Not an Option

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Hot on the heels of the Onavo VPN fiasco and paying teenagers in return for spying on them, Facebook is facing fresh outrage over allowing everyone to look up users with a phone number.

But it seems that Facebook actually links this phone number to the user account, and there is no way to stop anyone obtaining this phone number when they "look up" someone's Facebook profile. However, there is no way to get rid of the look-up option entirely as the option is set to default. However, it has now been found that Facebook's default settings allow nearly anyone to find a profile by searching the same authentication phone number.

The spokesperson said there was never a way to add a phone number only for two-factor authentication, also called 2FA, and users assumed it would be exclusively used for security purposes.

"For years Facebook claimed the adding a phone number for 2FA was only for security". In the opposition of users strong belief and security great practices, the main problem is, it is making users' 2FA phone numbers visible by uncovering it.

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Facebook's use of user phone numbers came back into the limelight this week, as many users realized that their account was still discoverable by people searching with their phone number.

As TechCrunch reports, the issue was raised after Jeremy Burge, the founder Emojipedia, tweeted about the feature last Friday (March.1st).

Byrne then added, "even if you leave specific instructions with your provider to not port your SIM without a PIN and photo ID, smooth-talking criminals can still convince telco employees to do it anyway, with the result that the crook obtains control of your phone number - and can receive any communications sent to it".

Users are given three options for who can search with this information: Everyone, Friends of friends, and Friends.

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Users can hide their phone numbers so no one can see it, but that doesn't remove the ability for people to look you up using it. From there, click on the "privacy" tab and you'll find the setting in question under the "how people find and contact you" banner. "Now it can be searched and there's no way to disable that", Burge added.

"That is why every start-up wants your phone number".

According to Facebook's help content, the user's contact information can be customized according to the user's preferences.

Alex Stamos, Facebook's former chief security officer, chimed in on the latest privacy concern on Twitter, writing, "there was supposed to be a big project to segregate numbers" while he was there, but ultimately that project didn't happen.

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