Facebook Confirms Giving Advertisers Access to User Phone Numbers

Facebook confirmed a Wednesday report claiming it gave advertisers access to user phone numbers and contact lists. “We use the information people provide to offer a better, more personalized experience on Facebook, including ads,” a Facebook spokeswoman told AFP. “We are clear about how we use the information we collect, including the contact information that people upload or add to their own accounts.” In a Gizmodo report published Wednesday, two studies found that the social network was giving advertisers access to data sources that users did not explicitly permit could be used. For example, the studies found user phone numbers given to the social network to enable two-factor authentication were being targeted in advertisements. The studies also found that user contact lists that were uploaded to the site could be “mined for personal information,” meaning that data from friends of the user could also be available to advertisers.