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Here’s the latest from Facebook:

For years, Facebook has been badgering its users to set up two-factor authentication, which is indeed considered best practice for online security. This requires you to give Facebook your phone number so that they can text you a passcode to log in to your account.

But last year we learned that Facebook had made all these phone numbers available to advertisers so they could target ads. Now it turns out that even if you never added it to your profile, other people can still look you up via your phone number.

Is this a big deal? In and of itself, maybe not. But there are two big harms here anyway. First, Facebook has once again revealed personal information without asking permission. The default should be to keep security information completely private unless you explicitly give permission to share it. But in this case it’s not. And not only is the default set to make it shareable, there’s not even a way to change it once you discover what’s going on.

Second, this kind of behavior will rightfully make people suspicious of security enhancements. It’s in everyone’s best interest to improve online security, and we should always feel confident that online companies are at least doing their best to keep our security information safe and private. Once again, though, Facebook has blown up this implicit contract in order to improve its bottom line by a few dollars. Nice work, guys.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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