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Your Phone Number on Facebook

on . Posted in Mobile

Facebook_ContactsEvery time Facebook updates their site with a new information-sharing setting, many people misinterpret the update and send out blasts warning all their friends of the new "privacy invasion." These rumors cause mass hysteria like that unleashed most recently when Facebook launched a new feature called "Contacts," previously known as "Phonebook." According to the rumors, Facebook collects all the phone numbers from your mobile phone and makes them available to all of your friends.

This rumor is completely false. When you download Facebook's app for your mobile phone, your contact list is synced with your friends list, allowing you to get to all the phone numbers in your phone from the Facebook mobile app. The misunderstanding most likely occured because users could see the phone numbers of friends who did not make their phone numbers visible. This made it look like Facebook shared his or her number when in actuality, it was in your phone when you synced it to Facebook.

If you would like to see how the Facebook Contacts feature works, simply log into your profile, click "Accounts" and select "Edit Friends." On the left is a column. Choose "Contacts," and a list of all your Facebook friends and their contact information is displayed. Facebook also uses the numbers in your phone to find friend suggestions which is another feature that has many members of the site nervous.

Even though this feature is not the widespread privacy invasion so many users believed it was, many people are still upset. They feel that Facebook users should not be automatically included in "Contacts", but instead have to actively choose to opt into the feature.

If you are one of the users who do not want your cell phone contacts synced with Facebook, you can remove your imported contacts. It is important that you monitor your privacy settings to ensure that sensitive information you would rather keep private or viewable by only a few different people is protected. For example, posting a phone number accessible by everyone can make that number vulnerable to spamming and telemarketing tactics. Familiarity with privacy settings can keep this under control.