Gini Dietrich

Facebook Is Sharing Your Home Address and Phone Number

By: Gini Dietrich | March 2, 2011 | 
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It’s time to change your Facebook settings again. This time? Your profile.

Good ol’ Zuck, in an effort “to encourage users to be more liberal in sharing their data and online activity,” is going to be sharing your home address and phone number(s) with external sites.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Your phone number and address soon will not be private on Facebook, allowing them to share with the outside world, including those people who love to steal other’s identities.

I know. I know. Some of you are going to say that information is already publicly available. But how many of us are on do not call lists? How many of us don’t publish our home addresses? We do this so people don’t know how to find us unless they actually know us.

Mary Holder, the chairman of the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium says,

People never thought when they were posting this data [such as their phone numbers] that it would be accessible to anyone but friends. There’s a real mismatch of expectations around that. Even if Facebook comes back with new protections, they’re still saying, ‘Hey, get over it, your data is public.’ I feel badly for users that Facebook’s approach is ‘You give us anything and it’s all fair game.’

So what should you do?

If you don’t want your information shared, go to your profile in Facebook, click on ‘info’ on the left-hand side, and scroll down to the bottom where your phone number(s) and address are listed. Delete whatever you don’t want shared.

I have our work number and address listed, but I deleted my cell phone number. So, if anyone wants to reach me or pretend they’re me, they’ll have to do it through the business.

While Facebook is claiming you’ll have to grant permission, once your information is accessed, the best way to avoid this is to completely remove the information from your profile. If your friends don’t know where and how to reach you, well, too bad for them!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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