A recent report by Tech Crunch states that phone numbers linked to Facebook accounts could be used to look up profiles. When Facebook originally rolled out 2FA, there was no indication that the phone numbers they were collecting would be used for advertising or tied to a user's profile. But there's no way to hide it completely.
Facebook offered a response about this to TechCrunch, explaining that choosing who can look you up by your phone number isn't a new setting.
While users can personally restrict this feature - so that they only appear to Friends, or Friends Of Friends - it's still set to Everyone by default.
What remains is that Facebook will use submitted phone numbers to suggest friend connections for those upload related contact information, even if that friend only provided the phone number for 2FA account security.
'Now it can be searched and there's no way to disable that'.More news: HBO Documentary 'Leaving Neverland' Airs, With Strong Reactions
A Facebook spokesperson simply told TechCrunch how the feature is not new, and how it affects all other phone numbers that you add on your Facebook account, not just the number you use for 2FA. The social network even required the feature to be used by the moderators of large Facebook pages, telling them they had to hand over a phone number in order to prevent the page from being easily stolen by a canny hacker.
The social network previously removed the option to search for profiles by phone number after admitting "most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way".
Users are only given three options: Everyone, Friends of friends, and Friends. Two-factor authentication is an important security feature, and past year we added the option to set it up for your account without registering a phone number.
'The original FB phone number prompt never mentioned "and more", Burge adds.
Academics and privacy experts have slammed Facebook for a move that could put users at greater risk despite its promise of heightened security.
They found "that phone numbers and email addresses added as profile attributes, those provided for security purposes such as two-factor authentication, those provided to the Facebook Messenger app for the goal of messaging, and those included in friends' uploaded contact databases are all used by Facebook to allow advertisers to target users".