Facebook landed in hot water again this week after it was revealed that tens of millions of users had their phone numbers exposed online in an unsecure database. However, the company also announced a major privacy overhaul that will see it stop feeding user phone numbers into its “people you may know” feature.
According to Facebook executive Michael Protti, the company already stopped using phone numbers for advertising purposes in June. Now it will stop using that info to suggest friends. These privacy changes are the result of the company’s $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that required it to step up its safeguards.
For its part, Facebook has been careful to make sure that its public phrasing of these changes is clear, and that it’s being as transparent as possible about what it’s doing with the user data it still collects. According to Protti, Facebook conducted a review to ensure “the system updates supporting our privacy statements were done correctly,” which “adds more layers of process and rigor to the vetting of our technical work to make sure our public statements match our operations.”
This isn’t a giant privacy change in the grand scheme of things, but the less info Facebook collects about us, the better — and at least the company is being straightforward about it.
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