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Facebook Deceived Users About the Way It Used Phone Numbers, Facial Recognition, FTC To Allege in Complaint

The Federal Trade Commission plans to allege that Facebook misled users’ about its handling of their phone numbers as part of a wide-ranging complaint that accompanies a settlement ending the government’s privacy probe, Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing two people familiar with the matter. From the report: In the complaint, which has not yet been released, federal regulators take issue with Facebook’s earlier implementation of a security feature called two-factor authentication. It allows users to request one-time password, sent by text message, each time they log onto the social-networking site. But some advertisers managed to target Facebook users who uploaded those contact details, perhaps without the full knowledge of those who provided them, the two sources said. The misuse of the phone numbers was first identified in media reports and by academics last year [PDF]. The FTC also plans to allege that Facebook had provided insufficient information to users — roughly 30 million — about their ability to turn off a tool that would identify and offer tag suggestions for photos, the sources added. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity. The facial recognition issue appears to have first been publicized earlier this year by Consumer Reports.


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