A message making the rounds on Facebook has prompted several users to raise the alarm about Facebook supposedly publishing the phone numbers of your contacts.
Facebook does list phone numbers that your friends have shared in the list of your contacts, and has listed that information in users’ private views of Facebook since launching Phonebook a few years ago. If you’ve synced your phone with Facebook, those contacts will appear as well.
Addressing the rumors, Facebook put up the following statement on the company’s page.
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 provides a link to let you remove the mobile contacts that it has synced from your phone, though your account will still display any numbers your friends have provided on their accounts. The site also gives instructions on how to stop syncing your iPhone with your account. To do that, head to the Friends icon in the main menu and you’ll see your Sync setting in the upper-right hand corner.
If you want to remove your phone number from Facebook, you can do so by heading to the “Edit Profile” link below your name and editing your contact information.
(Washington Post Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Donald E. Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)