Facebook: We Aren’t Sharing Your Phone Numbers

| News

FacebookIn response to a wide-spread rumor that it is publicly posting all user’s phone numbers, Facebook has said that isn’t the case. The rumor also claimed that Facebook’s Contacts feature is new, which the company assured subscribers was wrong information, too.

“Rumors claiming that your phone contacts are visible to everyone on Facebook are false. Our Contacts list, formerly called Phonebook, has existed for a long time,” the company said on its Facebook fan page. “The phone numbers listed there were either added by your friends themselves and made visible to you, or you have previously synced your phone contacts with Facebook. Just like on your phone, only you can see these numbers.”

The rumor claimed that ever phone number in user’s Contacts list was being publicly published, and urged people to delete their phone numbers from their account.

Facebook is often the target of complaints about user privacy, which makes rumors like this one so easy to spread. In this case, however, it looks like the rumor is unfounded.



Dear Facebook
I don’t trust you.

I have an account. It’s a useful tool, but I only have my name, gender and city on it and only post infrequently and never anything personal. There is no reason you HAVE to put anything else out there.

Lee Dronick

Yesterday this was a kerfufle among some of my Facebook friends. As with Geoduck I don’t trust Facebook with personal info.

I ignore their request that I provide my phone number “In case there is a problem with your account” or their words to that effect. I don’t need them to be my address book, I have my synched iPhone, MobileMe/iCloud, and Macs for that and they are not going to get access to it. Any of my Facebook friends who don’t have my phone number can email me and ask for it.

It would help if Facebook cleaned up its horrid interface, simplified its account settings and not have them scattered all over Hell’s half acre. Also don’t go making changes without sending out notifications.


I also don’t trust Facebook—which is why I didn’t provide my phone number OR allow the iPhone app to sync my contacts with Facebook. Yet dozens of my Facebook friends have their phone numbers online. Why? Why would anyone hand over more personal information than absolutely necessary to a social networking site with a reputation for hiding privacy settings to protect that information?


These rumors are Facebook’s own fault. They have a terrible history with privacy and letting their users know what they are doing which makes these sorts of thing seem very believable to their own customers.


The blame is equally shared: yes, Facebook has a poor privacy history but, people are also too damn stupid to check something for themselves before becoming indignant about a non-existant sleight and passing it on.


I had a FaceBook account so I could see what my sister & her kids were doing there.

But after receiving loads of spam email asking me to be friends with people I’ve never known/been friends of/with, all the reports about FaceBook & privacy concerns I deleted the account. Six months later I’m still being pestered by emails from FaceBook. And the real joke is I can’t unsubscribe/stop the spam unless I join FaceBook again! Bastards!

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