If you're protecting your Facebook account with two-factor authentication (2FA), you're likely to give Facebook your phone number at some point. 2FA adds an almost impenetrable security level to your Facebook account because you need to enter a code via SMS before logging in.
What you probably did not know was that Facebook would use that data – your phone number – to address you with ads.
Following a report by Gizmodo that Facebook allows advertisers to target phone numbers, Facebook has confirmed its approach to TechCrunch and indicated that phone numbers are used for security purposes to target users with ads.
For example, a grocery store that collects premium phone numbers could theoretically target this database of phone numbers on Facebook. Facebook would reference the grocery list with its own database of phone numbers and provide ads to users associated with those numbers.
If you do not want to receive ads that are targeted to your phone number, you should know how to remove those digits from your account settings. This guide tells you how to remove your phone number from your general profile and two-factor authentication (and provide an alternative to using a phone number).
Open the Facebook app and select Settings & Privacy from the drop-down menu. Select Settings and then Personal Information that displays your name, email address, and phone number. In the Phone number box, click Remove, you will be prompted to enter your Facebook password again, and then click Remove Phone to confirm the change. Look for a confirmation e-mail.
On the desktop
To remove your phone number from Facebook on your desktop, go to Settings in the main drop-down menu. Select your Facebook information and then View under Accessing your data. From there, go to Personal Information and select your contact information where you can see your mobile number (s). When you are asked if you are sure, click Remove, and then click Remove Phone.
User Note: Even if you've tried to remove your phone number from the Facebook app, this seems to make sense from a desktop if the number is still there, as it was after I thought I got it from my phone deleted. However you try to delete it, you should receive a confirmation e-mail if you succeed.
(We contacted Facebook for commenting on this discrepancy and did not hear it.)
You may also have shared your phone number with Facebook to enable(2FA) even though the service may no longer need a phone number in May Use an authentication app such as Google Authenticator to activate 2FA.
To remove your phone number from your 2FA setting on Facebook, you'll need to disable 2FA and turn it back on with an authentication app. On mobile devices, go to the Settings drop-down menu, select Security and Login, and then go to Two-Factor Authentication to turn it on and off. Instead of using your phone number, you can useor a as the second factor.
When and how to use it
Why are not more people using 2FA?