Facebook has refused linking people’s accounts to their phone numbers as requested by the government of Pakistan citing infringement on privacy.
Facebook refused linking accounts to phone numbers as requested by the government of Pakistan since it has a focus on protecting the rights of its users more than removing fake users. The request was made to the Vice President of Facebook who was on a recent visit to Pakistan to discuss the issue of blasphemous content on the social network.
While willing to help the Pakistani government overcome criminal activities, the giant social network has declined linking accounts to phone numbers.
Linking Facebook accounts with phone numbers would have helped the government in identifying the specific users who post blasphemous or inciting content.
In the light of above proceedings, it is important to mention that if Facebook had agreed to the government’s request, it would have deeply affected the state of expression on social media and digital circles.
In Pakistan, a phone number SIM is given on the basis of a fingerprint scan. Hence, it is very easy to link a phone number to a specific individual.