Social media giant Facebook is to stop using member’s phone numbers in its friend’s recommendation system in 2020 following about privacy implications.
Users may choose to have a code sent to their mobile phones when logging in to make access harder for hackers. However, the company admitted it also fed the numbers into targeted advertising and friend recommendation systems. The company says that it will have completed the changes- part of a settlement with US regulators-during 2020.
Facebook had begun for users’ phone numbers in order to enable two-factor authentication on their accounts to ensure higher security and for preventing hackers from gaining access to user accounts on the platform.
The reports later revealed that the company was in fact using these phone numbers for purposes other than what it claimed. The company started using phone numbers to power ts People You May Know feature, where it encouraged people to add users on Facebook based on whether they had their phone numbers saved in their contacts.
It also used these Phone numbers to target ads to its users, and users phone numbers were searchable by advertisers.
The company will stop using phone numbers for purposes other than 2FA on its platform. The change comes as a part of the company’s $5 billion settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission and will come into effect from 2020.
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