Why Facebook Has Your Phone Numbers? How to Remove the Numbers? [Privacy]

Address book
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Facebook Phonebook has raised privacy concern about sharing phone numbers of yours and your friends. In this article, you will learn how Facebook get your phone numbers and how to delete the data.

Why worry?

Few days ago, my friend asked me to check if his phone number appears in my Facebook Contacts or not. Yes, his number is listed. My friend, who is very concerned about his online privacy, was worrying that everyone could see his phone number. I explained that the phone numbers are not public and only for myself only.

Why NOT to worry?

Later, TechCrunch published an article about the Facebook phone numbers and here is the Facebook official response:

“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 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.”

How did Facebook collect your phone numbers?

Basically, it is either…

  1. Phone numbers are shared by your friends to you on their Facebook profile.
  2. You have chosen to upload/sync contact information from your phone to Facebook. (you might not remember that…)

Tip: You can customize Facebook Privacy to decide who see your contact information.

How to delete Facebook contacts phone numbers?

If you are worrying about Facebook misuses your phonebook contacts, you always have to choice to remove imported contacts.

By removing imported and synced contacts, Facebook “Friend Suggestions” for you and your friends may become less relevant. Though your synched contacts will be removed, but it will still display contact info of your friends who have included it on their profiles.

Do you think keeping a copy of your contacts on Facebook is a good or bad idea, and why?

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