Facebook stole every contact and phone number in your phone – here's how to undo the damage

By on August 12, 2011 at 11:15 AM.

Facebook stole every contact and phone number in your phone – here's how to undo the damage

This may come as a shock considering how seriously Facebook takes your privacy, but if you’re a Facebook user with one of Facebook’s mobile applications installed on your iPhone or one of several other smartphones, you’ve been robbed. Each and every contact stored on your phone is probably now also stored on Facebook’s servers, as was re-re-rediscovered by Facebook users this past week. Whether or not people in your contact list even have Facebook accounts, their names and phone numbers are likely now in Facebook’s possession. There is probably a clause buried deep within Facebook’s terms and conditions that makes this invasion of your privacy OK on paper, but odds are still pretty good that it’s not OK with you. Complete instructions outlining how to remove all of your contacts’ phone numbers from your Facebook account can be found below. Whether or not the data will be completely wiped from Facebook’s servers is unclear, but we’ll leave that for the lawyers to figure out.

UPDATE: A Facebook spokesperson delivered the following official statement to BGR via email: “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 directly to Facebook and shared with you by your friends, or you have previously synced your phone contacts with Facebook. Just like on your phone, only you can see these numbers.”

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You can’t make 500 million friends without launching malicious smear campaigns against a few enemies

By on May 12, 2011 at 9:45 AM.

You can’t make 500 million friends without launching malicious smear campaigns against a few enemies

Google might be “evil” according to some, but we’ve never heard of the company launching a stealth smear campaign against one of its competitors in an effort to influence the media. That is what Facebook is said to have confirmed doing recently and, if true, the revelation could leave a sizable blemish on Facebook’s already tarnished public image. The Daily Beast on Thursday reports that Facebook hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller to attempt to persuade writers at several publications to publish Google-bashing pieces about the Internet giant’s “Social Circle” product invading users’ privacy. Privacy? How ironic. The campaign, shamefully led by two former journalists, backfired when a blogger Burson contacted decided to publish the firm’s emails. There is silver lining in all this, however: if Facebook is threatened enough that it is trying to pull off a catty stunt like this, Google might actually have a social offering worthy of Facebook’s, and our, attention. More →

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