Now you don’t have to worry about popping into friend suggestions due to your two-factor authentication numbers

According to the Reuters report, Facebook Inc. will not leverage users phone numbers — that they provided for two-factor authentication — to its ‘People you may know’ feature to make the platform more secure for its privacy-savvy users.

Last year it was revealed that the data obtained by Facebook for two-factor authentication was used by the company to advertise products to the desired audience and this practice was called out for being deceptive and violating the essential digital security protocols.

After such revelations, Facebook already stopped the use of phone numbers for advertising purposes and now the company will be completely separating the association of phone numbers from friend suggestions too.

These new updates in the Facebook’s privacy were made after the social app paid $5 billion to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission which made it mandatory to boost the safeguards on user data to resolve the privacy issues of its users.

According to the orders by FTC, the approval of Facebook privacy practices is still pending in court as Facebook failed to disclose about the association of two-faction authentication phone numbers for advertising and this barred the approach to security tools.

The chief privacy officer of Facebook, Michel Protti will be leading this overhaul and the long-time Chief Executive of Facebook also told that the reason behind the removal of two-factor authentication numbers was to bring more new updates in the privacy models of the company.

This new change in the security tool of Facebook that will prevent the display of phone numbers linked with two-factor authentications to be used for friend suggestions and currently this change is only happening in few countries, including Ecuador, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Libya and Pakistan but it is expected to be introduced globally early next year.

The users who already have their phone numbers linked with two-factor authentication tools will not be affected and they can easily remove their numbers from friend suggestion feature by deleting their numbers first and then adding them again.

According to the spokeswoman of the company, the separation of the two-factor authentication from advertising will be applied to both new and existing users and before making this latest change in its security tool, Facebook conducted a deep review to make sure that the system updates support the privacy statements.

According to Facebook, the reviews of products all aim to minimize the collection of data and will also be providing more transparency to users regarding the workings of advertising products.


This new process to provide more transparency to users regarding product advertising led to the new changes by Facebook, revealed the spokeswoman..

The chief privacy officer along with the Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg will be signing the privacy certifications to the FTC soon.

Facebook needs to make its policies more clear and invest in more stronger technical controls so that data flows more securely on the platform.

A researcher at the Electron Frontier Foundation named Gennie Gebhart was the one who gave feedback regarding the association of two-factor authentication numbers with friend suggestions and now she is welcoming these new changes by Facebook as a really good update in the privacy protocols of Facebook.

According to Gebhart, the abuse of phone numbers of users by finding users via their two-factor authentication phone numbers was called out for review process and submitted to the FTC.

Even though Facebook is trying hard to bring more updates for its privacy policies but will Facebook ever completely secure the platform?


Photo: REUTERS/Charles Platiau

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