Aaron Gadberry

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Facebook Phonebook

9th July 2010 - By Aaron Gadberry

Yesterday I saw a status message set to:

*WARNING**Go to the top right of your screen, click Account & then click Edit Friends. Go to the left side of your screen and click Phonebook. Everyone’s phone # is being published. Please repost (sic) to let your friends know of this change in security, so that they can remove their phone numbers or change their privacy settings…

I went and checked out my Phonebook and noticed that all the phone numbers in there were from Facebook friends that had them listed in their profiles. I think it’s not so bad for Facebook to organize the information that people have made available to me already. Apparently this is a pretty old feature I had just never seen. False alarm. Nothing to see here.

Then I saw this message at the top of the screen.

To learn more about Phonebook or to delete any contacts imported from your phone, click here.


From my phone?!? Click…

Facebook Phonebook displays contacts you have imported from your phone, as well as your Facebook friends. If you would like to remove your mobile contacts from Facebook, you need to disable the feature on your mobile phone and visit this page.

Remove Imported Contacts

When you import contacts into Facebook from your email, mobile, or instant messaging service, we may use this information to create friend suggestions for you and your friends. We also display these contacts in your Facebook Phonebook.

If you choose to remove your imported contacts, they will no longer appear in your Phonebook and friend suggestions may be less relevant to you and your friends.

To remove all imported contacts, please make sure to disable the Facebook synchronization feature on your phone first, if you have ever enabled it. Then, click the ‘Remove’ button below.

It turns out that Facebook is uploading contact information from your phone and storing the phone numbers. I can’t find any official information about this beyond what I posted above. Within Phonebook though, it looks to me as if imported numbers have a phone icon, while profile numbers list MOBILE or HOME, etc.

This information is not being formally added to profiles, but it is obviously associated with accounts. Why is this upsetting? Because Facebook has my phone number, you know that one I intentionally left off Facebook. I see no options to view or remove this information. I can’t even see what they have on me. It wouldn’t surprise me if Facebook is collecting other contact data from phones, such as email address, physical address, birthday, messenger screennames, and other contact information that most phones store.

I checked a friend’s Phonebook and Blackberry®, and several phone numbers had been imported. In the Blackberry® Facebook app there is a setting under Options to disable the syncing of Contacts. I do not know if it is enabled by default.

After some more searching it looks like not all phones with a Facebook app are syncing this information. I have an HTC Hero with an Android Facebook App and a HTC Facebook App and I have Sync Contacts checked, however none of the phone numbers in my Phonebook came from my phone. They are all listed on profiles. I’m sure eventually Facebook will upgrade their android app to sync as well.

If anyone has any information about other phones, or better Facebook apps that can enable a one way only sync, please post in the comments.

2 Responses to “Facebook Phonebook”

  1. htc hero Says:

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  2. facebook iphone Says:

    – you can get invited by a friend , . – search for groups and join that way , . – groups contain a list of ” groups in common ” could of seen it there , . – groups joined by your friends are shown on the left side of group page , . – groups joined by friends are also shown in the newsfeed and there profiles

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