SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook confirmed on Thursday that advertisers have access to phone numbers that provide increased security for members of the social network.
A study by two US universities, first published on the Gizmodo news site, found that Facebook’s two-factor authentication phone numbers were also used for promotional purposes.
Two-factor authentication is intended to increase security by adding a second step, e.g. For example, enter SMS codes and passwords to access accounts.
According to the study, phone numbers added for profiles, security or messaging are a potential food for advertisers.
“These results are in their most private context, despite all the relevant privacy controls applied to our test accounts,” researchers said in the study, which looked at how advertisers can get Facebook’s personal information or their WhatsApp and Messenger messages -Services. ,
The contact lists downloaded on Facebook platforms can be searched for personal information. This means that users can inadvertently announce their friends.
“Worryingly, phone numbers downloaded as part of syncing contacts that did not belong to a user or their account were used to enable advertising based on personal information,” the researchers said.
The study supports fears that Facebook uses “ghost” data sources that are not shared with the social network to earn money through advertising.
“We use the information provided by individuals to provide a better, more personalized Facebook experience, including advertising,” said a spokesperson following a request from AFP for information about the results. the study.
“We understand how we use the information we collect, including contact information uploaded by users or added to their own accounts.”
Facebook is struggling with the worst crisis in its history and has vilified the fact that it no longer protects users’ shared information.
Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy working for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, has been massively confronting the Internet giant of Silicon Valley with mass surveys.
The company admitted that up to 87 million users hijacked their data in the scandal.