Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are now caught in a new scandal; this is after Facebook confessed to selling phone numbers used for “two-factor authentication” (2FA).
There's supposed to be a great deal of trust between users and social media platforms, but the ever embroiled Facebook can't seem to keep itself out the spotlight.
Now, Facebook has admitted that it uses its users provided phone numbers, meant to be used for two-factor authentication (2FA) to directly target those numbers with advertising.
For those who are unaware, two-factor authentication is a way to further secure your account by forcing each login to be approved via text messaging or calls to your phone.
When you provide this information to social media websites like Facebook, it's meant to provide additional security.
That information you share with Facebook is <i>not</i> to be given to the general public, and it's <i>not</i> to be shared with advertisers.
“We use the information people provide to offer a better, more personalized experience on Facebook, including ads," a Facebook spokesperson said. "We are clear about how we use the information we collect, including the contact information that people upload or add to their own accounts. You can manage and delete the contact information you've uploaded at any time."
That information is in turn supposed to be securely stored by Facebook only to be used in verifying the account holder.
Facebook has clearly violated this trust.
“ One of the many ways that ads get in front of your eyeballs on Facebook and Instagram is that the social networking giant lets an advertiser upload a list of phone numbers or email addresses it has on file; it will then put an ad in front of accounts associated with that contact information,” Gizmodo writes.
“A clothing retailer can put an ad for a dress in the Instagram feeds of women who have purchased from them before, a politician can place Facebook ads in front of anyone on his mailing list, or a casino can offer deals to the email addresses of people suspected of having a gambling addiction,” Gizmodo says. “Facebook calls this a ‘custom audience.’”
Recently,<a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/37954-Zuckerberg-s-Facebook-Sued-by-Employee-over-PTSD-from-Child-Porn"> A Facebook employee filed a lawsuit against the company for PTSD she claims she suffered while moderating child porn and violence from the website.</a>
This also comes after<a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/37809-Update-Trump-Orders-US-Antitrust-Agency-To-Investigate-Google-Twitter-And-Facebook"> President Trump ordered an antitrust investigation into Facebook, Google, and Twitter. </a>
The<a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/35624-Trump-s-Fight-of-Social-Media-on-Censorship-Emboldens-as-100-Zuckerberg-Employees-Speak-Out#35635"> Trump Administration </a>and the United States Congress have more than enough reason to try and break up the likes of Facebook, Google, and many others who form “Big Tech,” when they're engaging in practices such as these.
No advertiser should have anyone's phone number because they shared that number with Facebook, and in doing so, Facebook may have sealed its own fate.
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