Monday February 18, 2019
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Facebook Admits Using Contact Numbers For Targeted Ads

The findings of the study suggest that Facebook uses "shadow contact information" to make money through advertising

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Facebook, video chat
LinkedIn faced probe for Facebook ads targeting 18 mn non-members. Pixabay

Facebook has admitted that the phone numbers that its users provide for security purposes are being used to target them with ads, the media reported.

“We use the information people provide to offer a better, more personalised experience on Facebook, including ads,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying by TechCrunch on Thursday.

The social network specifically uses a phone number that users provide for two factor authentication (2FA) — a security technique that provide a second layer of authentication to help keep accounts secure, the report added.

“We are clear about how we use the information we collect, including the contact information that people upload or add to their own accounts. You can manage and delete the contact information you’ve uploaded at any time,” the Facebook spokesperson said.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

Facebook confirmed the use of users’ phone number for targeting ads after Gizmodo reported research work carried out by academics at two US universities who found that the social network uses pieces of personal information that individuals did not explicitly provide it to target them with ads.

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Besides using the contact information users willingly provide to Facebook, it is also using contact information they handed over for security purposes and contact information they did not hand over at all, but that was collected from other people’s contact books, the Gizmodo report said.

The findings of the study suggest that Facebook uses “shadow contact information” to make money through advertising. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Suspends 3 Pages Linked to Russian Government

Maffick's videos are generally critical of US foreign policy and the mainstream American media, while largely avoiding criticism of the Russian government.

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Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Three video-centric pages run by a viral video company – Maffick Media – have been suspended from Facebook because they failed to properly disclose their ties with Russia, the media reported.

Ruptly, a subsidiary of the state-run RT (formerly Russia Today) which is funded by the Russian government, has a 51 per cent stake in Maffick Media.

“People connecting with Pages shouldn’t be misled about who’s behind them. Just as we’ve stepped up our enforcement of coordinated inauthentic behaviour and financially motivated spam over the past year, we’ll continue improving so people can get more information about the Pages they follow,” CNN quoted a Facebook spokesperson as saying on Friday.

Facebook
Facebook suspends 3 pages linked to Russian government. Pixabay

Facebook has suspended the pages intending to reach out to their admins, demanding them to disclose where the pages have been running from and their affiliation with their parent company in order to get back on the platform.

Designed to appeal to millennials, videos on these pages have collected tens of millions of views on Facebook but the pages do not disclose that they are backed by the Russian government, CNN reported.

Maffick’s videos are generally critical of US foreign policy and the mainstream American media, while largely avoiding criticism of the Russian government.

Facebook, Suspends
Facebook has suspended the pages intending to reach out to their admins, demanding them to disclose where the pages have been running from. VOA

“The move was an unusual one for Facebook since the company does not require users to provide information about parent companies, but it is rolling out ways to try to increase transparency about who runs popular Facebook pages and it has been taking aggressive steps to tackle covert government-backed information operations on its service,” CNN added.

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Unlike YouTube, Facebook does not have a policy of labelling state-sponsored media on the platform, but according to the report, it is considering transparency options that could help address the issue. (IANS)