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Facebook Faces Criticism Over Two Factor Authentication

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After using the users’ phone number which has been handed over for account safety, Facebook faces an allegation of abusing a security feature. The company has faced criticism that the company should take additional security measures for the users’ security instead of their phone number. From years, Facebook has asked its users to provide their phone number for the “two-factor verification.”  

{a common account security feature which sends a text message to the users whenever he or she logs in to Facebook.} 

Means it is a layer of authentication security for keeping the account secure. The company even wants the moderators holding large Facebook pages to hand over their phone number to prevent the page from being stolen or misused. 

But before the introduction of two-factor authentication on social media sites, Facebook started to use the phone numbers provided by users for other security reasons. Ultimately in September 2018, Facebook updates the language used in the prompt to “Add your phone number to help secure your account.”

Now, users who have provided their phone number for the security purpose have the privacy settings which asks them for the options -“everyone”, “friends of friends,” or “friends.” Users also criticized Facebook due to its settings of sharing the information with Instagram to encourage users to update their new phone number on their profile. 

According to the report, Facebook also uses that security information for advertising purposes: if a company has a phone number, it is possible to upload the number and target the customer with adversaries –  Besides using the contact information users  provided,  the company also use other information of users collected from contact books of other people. Facebook uses its users’ shadow contact information to make money through advertisement.

In replies to all criticism, a Facebook spokesperson stated – “We are clear about how we use the information we collect, including the contact information that people upload or add to their accounts. You can manage and delete the contact information you’ve uploaded at any time.”  “We’ve been hearing questions about two-factor authentication and phone number settings on Facebook. Two-factor authentication is an important security feature, and last year we added the option to set it up for your account without registering a phone number. Separately, the ‘Who can look me up?’ settings are not new and are not specific to two-factor authentication. A Facebook spokesperson added to his statement in response to the critics. 

In April 2018, we removed the ability to enter another person’s phone number or email address into the Facebook search bar to find someone’s profile. Today, the ‘Who can look me up?’ Settings control how your phone number or email address can be used to look you up in other ways, such as when someone uploads your contact info to Facebook from their mobile phone. We appreciate the feedback we’ve received about these settings and will take it into account.” 

With the statement, Facebook clarified its two-factor authentication security service in which phone number is required to secure your account, but still, the company is facing a lot of criticism. Though the company clarified its credibility on security issues, no one can commit security on social media platforms. Therefore, if you are also in the queue of Facebook trust issues, you can disable the settings which you have enabled for the security maintenance. 

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