Facebook terms of service force users to tell site as soon as they change their phone number

The condition is just one of a range of bizarre restrictions in the network’s rules

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 05 January 2017 18:13 GMT

You’ve probably broken the rules of just about every app you use.

If you’ve changed your phone number and not immediately told Facebook, you’re infringing the site’s terms of service.

Facebook’s “statement of rights and responsibilities” requires its users to tell it of any change within 48 hours, as pointed out by The Guardian.

It is one of a range of restrictive rules that every person using Facebook has signed up to – whether they actually read them or not.

They also include rules that force people not to use any fake information or to have more than one account.

Snapchat also forces people to tell it as soon as they change their number, despite a phone number not being anything like a central part of the app. It does give its users slightly longer to do so, requiring it in the first 72 hours of any alteration.

While the restriction is likely intended as a way of ensuring that its records on people are up to date and that it can contact them immediately, phones numbers are also valuable information. They help track people around the internet as well as ensuring that people are signing up with their real personal information, which in turn makes the data collected far more valuable.

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Similar rules are imposed on much of other people’s personal information. Just about every app – including both Snapchat and Facebook – have a clause making clear that it can use any public posts in any way it wants.

Snapchat specifically says that it can “host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish and distribute” content made on the service – whether it is public or not – and makes allowances for screening and looking at snaps even thought they might appear to be very private.

Most apps – including other like Instagram – have some version of the same terms, which tend to include many of the same words.

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