Facebook lists user phone numbers for all to see

There’s no easy way to look up someone’s mobile-phone number. White pages? Nope. Directory assistance? Uh-uh.

It’s something that drives telemarketers and pollsters crazy, as there are millions of people, especially young ones, who don’t have any landlines and can’t easily be reached by strangers.

But it turns out Facebook has been openly listing mobile numbers all along, as Indian security researcher Suriya Prakash discovered recently.

Needless to say, he wasn’t happy about it.

“I would consider my most ‘personal’ data saved on Facebook to be my mobile number as it is somewhat of a bridge interlinking both my personal and online life,” Prakash explained in a blog posting this past Thursday. “I would not like people I don’t want getting a hold of it.”

Prakash had earlier told Facebook about his discovery, but the company told him there were no security issues involved as the rate of queries from a particular source would be limited as a guard against automated attacks.

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