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This is not a particularly healthy scenario, for instance, if you and Sarah are no longer, or never were, friends in real life, and yet Facebook wants to wire you up anyway.

On the desktop, the process is similar. And now, as security researcher and New York Times columnist Zeynep Tufekci, Facebook is using users' security phone numbers to allow anyone-even people without a Facebook account-to look up a user by their phone number. In the drop-down menu, select Friends. Here's Facebook's former chief security officer weighing in on this issue: This is why tech companies need somebody advocating for security as a first-class goal in product, which is a different function than good security engineering. And, asked why it was set to "everyone" by default, Facebook said the feature makes it easier to find people you know but aren't yet friends with. For example, users could upload their mobile phone contacts to Facebook to search for friends or message a phone number on the Messenger app.

The post also showed how Facebook didn't allow anyone to opt out of the feature.

For billions of internet users, the phone number is the key to unlock their digital profiles.

Other media reports past year have highlighted when a user gives Facebook a phone number for two-factor, that number is harvested by advertisers.

While Facebook is finally bringing a "clear history" tool to the service later this year, there are foundational pieces of identification data that won't be let go of, and which will be increasingly hard to opt out of as Facebook looks to integrate its various social media platforms.

If, it is, just click on the Remove Phone Number. But you can try.

"For years, Facebook claimed that adding a phone number for 2FA was only for security", Burge tweeted.

Facebook is using phone numbers that users submitted for two-factor authentication as a way for them to be searchable on the platform.

The issue in question concerns two-factor authentication. I use Google Authenticator (Android, iOS) but you can use whatever you prefer. In response, Facebook said this practice isn't new. Then, when you log in, you enter your Facebook password and then open the app to retrieve a six-digit code that changes every 30 seconds.

Facebook prompts users to add their phone numbers for 2FA security. Also, searching by phone number on WhatsApp works, if you uploaded that number when you uploaded that person's contact information. While it is not the only way to pursue the Two-factor authentication, most of us follow the above way. "Now it can be searched and there's no way to disable that", Burge added.