Snapchat has today issued a new update for Android and iOS that allows users to opt out of linking their phone number with their username. The move comes after 4.6 million phone numbers were leaked on New Year’s Day following “abuse” of the Snapchat API — which Snapchat has apologized for in a new blog post.
A decade ago, your mobile phone number may not have meant much. In the days before number porting, mobile phone numbers were transient. If you switched carriers or moved, you got a new number.
Things are a bit different today. You can take your number with you from one mobile carrier to another, you can port it VOIP services like Vonage, or forwarding services like Google Voice, and you can even port it to a landline phone. Your phone number, much like your personal email address or Twitter account, belongs to you for as long as you want to keep it.
That can create a problem for companies implementing BYOD programs. If an employees bring their own phones, they also bring their own numbers. For many employees, particularly those that are mobile professionals, their mobile number is the go-to number to reach them. When such an employee leaves that company, what happens to his or her phone number?