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Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Smartphone Users Angered Over Facebook Feature
Some smartphone users are outraged over a Facebook feature that automatically imports personal phone numbers on their pages.
Over the past few days, Facebook users have been circulating messages letting people know that if their Facebook account is synced to a smartphone, phone numbers will then be posted in the user's account.
According to Facebook, the feature is not new. Facebook has posted a disclaimer on its site which says: "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."
Facebook says only the account user can view the phone numbers. Many people don't feel the numbers are safe. They also worry about the growing number of hacking incidents that are taking place on Facebook.
"I don't want my number on anybody's page," said Latiqueka Cawley.
"I think it just put us in a vulnerable spot," said Facebook user Kim Hollett.
"I don't think Facebook snuck it in. I think people now are more concerned about what information is out there and they don't really understand when they're setting permissions or accepting terms of service what actually is going on," said John Dolinar.
Dolinar is the information security manager at Cuyahoga County Community College. He says just like other apps and games you may download on your phone, users must be careful to read the fine print.
"You really have to be careful on the phone and the apps you install. There are lot of other apps that will try to sync your contacts up to someone onto the internet or for information, marketing, whatever."
In order to erase the phone numbers from your Facebook account, go to "Account," click on "Edit Friends" and then go to "Contacts." From there, click on "Contacts" and then go to "This Page."
Follow the directions on the Facebook page to disable the sync feature on your phone and then click "Remove."