Yesterday, there was a lot of Facebook activity from folks on my networks, regarding Facebook auto syncing your phone contacts from Facebook mobile app to your Facebook page.
This includes all contacts, even numbers of people you are not Facebook friends with.
Of course, this caused a massive uproar from people who felt as if they never opted-in to this feature however, by using the Facebook mobile application you are agreeing to the following, “You provide all rights necessary to enable users to sync (including through an application) their contact lists with any basic information and contact information that is visible to them on Facebook, as well as your name and profile picture.”
If you read their Terms of Service, be sure to scroll down to their Disputes,
“15.3 WE DO NOT GUARANTEE THAT FACEBOOK WILL BE SAFE OR SECURE. FACEBOOK IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS, CONTENT, INFORMATION, OR DATA OF THIRD PARTIES, AND YOU RELEASE US, OUR DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS FROM ANY CLAIMS AND DAMAGES, KNOWN AND UNKNOWN…”
All this access to our contacts made some ask, where is the information going? If it’s being imported from our mobile devices and stored on our Facebook page, where else is it? Facebook servers keep everything contained for us, but what more are they doing with that data?
To turn off the phone contact syncing feature, visit your ‘Account’ drop down menu and select ‘Edit Friends.’ From there, select ‘Contacts’ in the left sidebar, where you will see all your phone contact populate. If you want to disable the syncing of your phone contacts, click through on the hyperlink in the right that says “this page.”
Once you’ve requested that your contacts be removed, you will receive a confirmation message from Facebook in your updates.
My next question is if this is all a step towards futher integrating with Skype since they recently annouced a partnership? Just a guess but I think so.
For any Facebook user, I always encourage them to be vigilant of their privacy settings and to carefully read over the terms of service. If you think your account may have been hacked or others may have access, check your recognized devices which will tell you exactly what computers have accessed your account. To check recognized devices, visit ‘Account’, then ‘Account Settings’ then select ‘Security’ and you will see the Recognized Devices category. It will provide the exact date that device logged on and any location or name you use to identify that device.