Facebook Uses Two-Factor to Target Ads and Make Users Searchable

Facebook has come in for criticism this week after it was revealed that the company does not allow users to opt out of having their phone number be searchable.

Anyone can use a phone number to find individual profiles by default, and this can only be tweaked to the owner’s ‘friends-of-friends’ or ‘friends’ in the settings.

Critics say the practice is particularly nefarious because Facebook used the introduction of two-factor authentication as justification for securing these phone numbers.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Facebook spokesperson Jay Nancarrow said: “(…) the setting applies to any phone numbers you added to your profile and isn’t specific to any feature.”

The company added: “We appreciate the feedback we’ve received about these settings and will take it into account.”

The social media giant also uses the numbers to target ads, though this was revealed by Gizmodo in September 2018.

Facebook has been slow to roll out its dating functionality, possibly because of personal information controversies such as this. When Dating was announced at F8 2018, IAC CEO Joey Levin suggested that the platform would be “great for U.S./Russia Relationships:”

Facebook’s F8 conference in 2019 will be held from 30th April to 1st May at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

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Scott Harvey

Scott is the Editor of Global Dating Insights. Raised in Dorset, he holds a BA from The University of Nottingham and an MSc from Lund University School of Economics and Management. Previously he has written about politics, economics and technology for various online publications.

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