Facebook moves to clear up iPhone app controversy

Site claims it never shares your mobile phone numbers

Facebook involved in yet another shady privacy scandal.

Facebook has moved quickly to issue a statement amid concerns that using the official iPhone app exposes all of your phone numbers to the social networking site.

Guardian Technology blogger Charles Arthur ran the exposé yesterday informing the masses that using the app could upload all of your private phone numbers to Facebook's servers "to be mixed and matched with anyone."

The reason for this controversy is the iPhone app's "Contact Sync" feature, which links your phonebook up with your Facebook contacts, sharing information and downloading profile pictures. To achieve this, Facebook uploads all of your numbers and then downloads them again to the App, storing all of your numbers on its servers.

However, if you look at your Facebook phone book. Not only are your private numbers there, but it'll also be crammed with the numbers of Facebook friends you didn't previously have on your phone. The Guardian article also alleges that the app links numbers to people you don't know in a bid to match them up with your phone contacts.

Facebook has today moved to quell the controversy by issuing an official statement (You can read the full statement here): "Only you can see your Phonebook on Facebook; it can't be seen by anyone else. This is the same as online phonebooks or email contact lists many people already have.

"People also have the ability to control who sees their contact information through their privacy settings – this includes the ability to make your mobile number visible to only a few select friends or of course you don't have to include one at all."

The Facebook app does offer a warning when using the Contact Sync functionality, however users of an older iteration wouldn't have received such warnings.

The controversy about Facebook privacy rumbles on...

Link: Facebook (via The Guardian)