Facebook Doesn’t Let You Block its “Phone Number Lookup” Feature

Recently, Jeremy Burge, bringing users’ attention to Facebook’s lookup feature, tweeted that adding your cell phone number for the two-factor authentication enables the lookup features on your profile. That means anyone can search for your profile using your mobile number.

Even though the phone number can be hidden, the lookup feature cannot be disabled. You can change its privacy from everyone to friends of friends or only friends, however, it does not give you complete security.

Moreover, the default for this feature is ‘everyone’ which means, if you don’t change the settings or if you are unaware of the feature, people from all over the world can search for your account using your number. The most surprising part is that Facebook doesn’t let you opt out of this feature.

On the same road, Facebook faced severe criticism last year for using the phone numbers associated with people’s Facebook accounts for advertisement purposes. The lookup feature can be availed by anyone, even if they don’t have a Facebook account. How secure is that?

What Does Facebook Say?

Facebook is adamant that the feature is solely for the purpose of making new friends and finding people that you may know but are not friends with. Moreover, Facebook hasn’t said whether its changing or removing the feature. They say that they “would not like to reveal our future strategies”.

The company’s spokesperson said that they will consider the feedback and suggestions. However, this seems unlikely based on the data misuse scandals Facebook has been involved in in the past years.

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