Facebook Divulges Your Mobile Phone Number (Updated)

Source: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-7udiCsYhvPY/TkPw6n6HxaI/AAAAAAAAAs8/-C2flBRhkFY/s500/chd_tick_engorged.jpg

When my family and I drove up to a university campus 4 hours from home, I reached for my mobile phone to send a friend–a professor at the university–a message via Facebook, the only virtual space my friend and I had connected. As I was looking through her Facebook profile via my phone, I noticed her phone number. “What the heck, might as well try it and see if I can reach her” I muttered to myself and tried calling it.

After a puzzled greeting, she asked, “How did you get my phone number?” At the time, I didn’t give her surprise much thought as I responded, “Facebook.”
That memory came back to me today when I read the latest on Facebook privacy fiasco. For fun, I checked it out and guess what! I can call Bernie Dodge, Alan November, and lots of other folks. Pages and pages. Ok, anyone else creeped out? *I* can call you. hehe. Wait, give it a moment. 
The funny thing is, it doesn’t matter whether you moved to Google + or not:
Although I usually share my Google Voice number as my mobile and contact phone number with folks, I wouldn’t want to share my real mobile phone number…so, do I? As far as I can tell, I don’t.


Unless this attack is successful, you may need to take advantage of instructions how to remove….

To remove…

Finally, you’ll get an email like this one:

Hi Miguel,
As you requested, your imported contacts have been removed. Please note: if some of your friends choose to share their email or phone numbers with friends on Facebook, you’ll still see their contact information in your phonebook.
Thanks,The Facebook Team

Hmm…to stop Facebook from synching your phone (iphone/Android) again, make sure to follow the instructions outlined in this blog post. Thanks to Joshua Smith for the tip! For fun, I’ve quoted them here:

  • Android Phone – Go the main menu, and select Settings. Under Other Settings, select Sync Contacts. Select Remove Facebook data.
  • Apple iPhone –  Start the Facebook app in your iPhone then select Friends. Select the sync button at the top right and then tap sync contacts. Turn off syncing.

Yet, even after taking all these steps…my contacts still reflect phone numbers.

Does this “breach” change whether you’ll continue using Facebook?
Other privacy settings…for fun, I took a look at my daughter’s privacy settings and walked her through it to see where she might “tighten security”:

I’d recommend editing these settings….

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

One thought on “Facebook Divulges Your Mobile Phone Number (Updated)

  1. Scott August 12, 2011 at 1:15 am Reply

    I actually use groups to control who has access to my content. I do share my phone number, but have the setting customized so that just my closest friends and immediate family (two of my many groups) can see/have that information.So many people freak out about the privacy stuff in Facebook, but if they've never touched their privacy settings, they've got no one to blame but themselves. If you leave it at the default, and facebook keeps changing what the defaults are, yours change too. If you lock it down, there's very little, if anything, that will change when facebook changes the default settings.

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