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OPLIN 4Cast #636: Facebook’s latest betrayal of your data

Posted in 4cast, and Facebook

This week, a friend said to me, “If Facebook fell into the sun about now, I’m not sure I’d be sad.”

Personally, I was having a pretty good Facebook Week, generally: someone I was close to 40 years ago (!) reached out to friend me, I participated in some fun promotions, and a closed group I belong to kept me entertained with their hilarious conversations.

I haven’t turned on multi-factor authentication for Facebook — partly because it doesn’t seem that important to me and mostly because I had an intuition that my phone number probably wasn’t safe in Facebook’s hands. Score one point for my intuition.

  • Facebook won’t let you opt out of its phone number ‘look up’ setting [TechCrunch] “Last year, Facebook was forced to admit that after months of pestering its users to switch on two-factor by signing up their phone number, it was also using those phone numbers to target users with ads.”
  • How to Keep Your Phone Number (Sort of) Private on Facebook [Lifehacker] “Facebook can still find your phone number without you even providing it (yep). How? According to Burge, Facebook shares its information with everybody, including Instagram and WhatsApp (they own both). If any friend logs in using those accounts and accepts access to their contacts, it’s entirely possible they can still locate you.”
  • Facebook won’t keep your two-factor phone number truly private [Engadget] “Third-party systems, like Google Authenticator and Duo Security can also be used to add an additional layer of protection onto your account. That will be small comfort to those who engaged the security before the rules were changed, however.”
  • Facebook’s Phone Number Policy Could Push Users to Not Trust Two-Factor Authentication [Motherboard] “Facebook’s decision to use phone numbers that were given to it for a specific security purpose for reasons other than security are a betrayal, and is training people more broadly that turning over more personal information to an internet company for security features could backfire.”

From the Ohio Web Library: