FB is Giving Advertisers Access to Shadow Contact and 2FA Number
Facebook earns money by utilizing a user’s personal information. The phone number provided by the user is enhancing this service to a great extent to facebook. While Facebook claims that they do not use the mobile phone number to show specific advertisements. They use mobile numbers to keep the account safe and secure. But a recent study proves that Facebook’s claim is wrong.
A team of researchers from North Eastern and the Princeton University of the United States examined that Facebook is operating fraudulent practices with the user’s mobile phone number. Facebook is collecting phone numbers for targeted advertising rather security issues. Facebook is conducting this practice in two ways. One is Two Factor Authentication (2FA) phone number and another one is the ‘Shadow’ contact information.
When a user gives a phone number to Facebook to set a 2FA for account security or receives a warning message about their new login account, their phone number can be verified by Facebook. Within a few weeks, the verified or actual account became as ‘gold mine’ to Facebook. They can represent it to advertisers as verified accounts. Facebook has been misusing the 2FA phone number for a long period of time.
However, this is not a security error of 2FA. It is not wise to neglect or avoid this method to keep accounts safe. Because the problem is not in the 2FA method. The problem is the management of Facebook Authority. Through this action, Facebook is spoiling user safety and privacy confidence.
There are several types of 2FA systems. In the SMS based TFA system, the user receives a code from the phone number, which is to be used to login on Facebook. Other methods include App Authenticator and Hardware Token. This does not require phone numbers. But a few months ago Facebook made phone numbers compulsory in all types of 2FA systems.
Facebook is also spoiling Shadow contact or shadow number-related information. The Facebook collects information and contact list from friends. If anyone shares his contact number on Facebook, then Facebook use the other phone number that has been recorded into the user contact list to advertise. After a month Facebook takes this facility from Shadow Contact.
Experts say that how Facebook creates a shadow profile of mobile phone numbers, is not a transparent process. Users could not find that shadow contact number. Even in the tough rules and regulations of Europe, Facebook is still using the phone number in such a way.
But nowadays many have become aware. Facebook authorities have recently tried to re-assure users after the Cambridge Analytical scandal. In this process, they have to be transparent and take appropriate action before users. Facebook authorities may start with the deletion of the 2FA number and preventing shadow number-related information from being used.