Facebook oversteps again on privacy, perhaps out of habit

August 19, 2011 @

The email I got from a co-worker contained a dire warning about Facebook that was being passed around by users of the social media service. It said, in part, “ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS in your phone are now on posted on this Facebook machine!”

I get warnings like this about social media sites a lot. I usually ignore them, but I went to check this one out if only to have a ready answer for anyone else asking about the Facebook thing.

To my shock and dismay, I discovered the email was right. 823 contacts from my phone appeared on my Facebook account. Home numbers. Office numbers. Numbers for people like my wife, who has never had a Facebook account and who would freak out if she knew her personal and work phone numbers were sitting on one of Facebook’s servers along with her name. (Please don’t tell her.)

That list of phone contacts was only visible to me. My Facebook friends and other visitors to my Facebook profile couldn’t see them. But it still bothered me that Facebook had these numbers.

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