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Want to Delete Your Facebook Account? The Issue of Data Privacy with No Solution in Sight

Are you dormant on Facebook, or have you deleted your Facebook account permanently like many others? Do you find yourself more engaged on Instagram or busy swiping videos on TikTok? Or you are still wondering, ‘should I delete my Facebook account permanently?’ Many users removed their Facebook accounts after learning about the Facebook data scandal in 2018. The problems relating to Facebook data security hit Facebook with a hefty fine of £500,000.

Back then, Mark Zuckerberg was forced to admit that Russian-backed posts had reached 126 million Americans, distributed fake news and created tensions in political circles before the election. Unfortunately, our Facebook accounts are just one aspect of our online privacy problems. Most of us have been handing over our data for years without realizing the real implications. Sometimes we have a choice, but mostly, we do not.

After Meta stock tanked in 2022 and Zuckerberg admitted that active users on the site were declining, it made many more believe that it was the right time to exit Facebook and dedicate their social media time to the other Meta offering, Instagram (which is also seeing a saturation after the introduction of new features which are nothing but rip-offs of other popular apps). Undoubtedly, Instagram was its best when it was a simple photo-sharing app.

Facebook accounts

Facebook data security- It’s not the only issue

Facebook data scandals may have been in the news, but it is not the only company with risky security practices. Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp are also owned and operated by Zuckerberg and Co. So, the crucial thing to understand here is that our data is nowhere safe. To protect your online data, you need to understand what a data breach is. How serious is this issue in terms of protecting the data from getting lost or stolen? Somewhere, we are also responsible for allowing unchecked access to our data

Besides the breaches and hacks, we need to analyze our social media usage behavior. When it came to Facebook, Cambridge Analytica did not steal data – it’s only what it did with the online data that was wrong.

As users of free services, many of us have been pressing buttons to grant permission for years without ever reading the details or the access it requests. Our sharing extends beyond Facebook as we play online games, take personality quizzes, use AI apps to cartoon our images, and much more. We also use Facebook to log in to other apps and websites – exposing our profiles to just everyone. The Facebook data breach 2018 rings a bell to almost all of us on the issue of online privacy. Many companies use personal data online, and in many ways, we are also responsible for that. That’s another story that many of the apps we use don’t give us a chance to log in or avail full-scale services without asking for full access from us in tricky ways.

It's not just Facebook. There are many more.

Many other companies use our online behavior to determine what to push through to us in the form of advertisements and much more. There’s Uber, TikTok, Tinder, Grindr, Spotify, Twitter, Credit Karma, PayPal, Zoom… the list is endless.

Your data may not be safe on Amazon or elsewhere

Amazon suggests other items you can view and buy based on your online behavior. More than a million new sellers joined the Amazon marketplace in the last few years – these businesses cannot run their processes successfully without solid privacy measures.

Amazon sellers outside the US often use local third-party tools for running business services. Some of these third parties exploit the sellers’ ignorance, gaining access to personal data and shopping histories. Even if you delete your Facebook account or do not shop on Amazon, or do not hire taxis for rides, you are being tracked by these and other similar apps and sites in many different ways. Just the installation on your phone is sometimes good enough to share your data with them. A few years ago, a DNA testing service had a security breach – you can imagine the sensitivity of it. Data privacy and health privacy laws haven’t kept up with technology, making the hacker's job easy.

Find out what Facebook knows about you

It’s relatively easy to download Facebook data and find out what it knows about you. During the process, you have to supply your password twice. In your downloaded archive, you will find a profile page with your general information, such as when you joined, your birthday, etc.

You will see plenty of other data too. Click the ad link, for example, and you will see a list of all the topics Facebook thinks will interest you. At the very end, you will find a listing of advertisers with your contact information. Facebook also keeps a record of every message you send using Facebook Messenger.

How to delete your Facebook account

Facebook shows you how to remove your Facebook account permanently. You need access to your Facebook account with your password to deactivate or permanently delete it. If you’ve forgotten your password, you must find out how to delete your Facebook account without a password. You can use several recovery methods to reset your password and regain access to your account.

Facebook data scandals

Facebook privacy and security issues are only the tip of the iceberg. As consumers and internet users, our behavior is leaving permanent data trails.

It has been estimated that the opportunity cost for U.S. consumers taking the time to read privacy policies would be around $781 billion. We are becoming more aware of online security, but sadly, simple awareness is not enough. More serious security challenges will keep coming up every year, and the debate on security issues is expected to continue as our awareness of online security problems grows.

Facebook working towards advanced ethics research

Back in 2019, Facebook joined hands with the Technical University of Munich. Facebook planned to work towards creating an independent ethics research center for Artificial Intelligence. A newsroom report reveals that it aimed to advance in the growing field of ethical research. Facebook pledged funds of $7.5 million over five years.

Was that enough for the cybersecurity challenges one of the world's biggest social media platforms faces and with billions of user data at risk? Did anything change? The apps and websites that track critical data of their users are now several thousand. Is anything concrete happening to keep the users safe, or are things really out of hand?

Managing your Facebook account

Facebook account can be deactivated or temporarily deleted for two weeks before you finally delete it. You must keep in mind that once you permanently delete your Facebook account; all the profiles of the main account will be deleted along with.

So, you must take a backup of all individual profiles within 30 days of deactivation of your account. You can do so by downloading a copy of account's data. Remember, once the account gets deleted, you would not be able to retrieve it back.

On deleting the account, you will :

  • The account information can not be retrieved.

  • You will no longer be able to use Facebook messenger.

  • Facebook sign in for other apps like Pinterest and Spotify will also expire on deleting the account.

  • Messages shared with your Facebook friends will be visible in their messenger. However, you can download the copies of messenger that is stored in the inbox.

  • For users who use Facebook for using an Oculus account, will not be able to access any application any longer. The Oculus information will also get deleted with the end of Facebook account.

Follow the steps to delete your account permanently:

  1. Click on the profile image located at the extreme right of your account; a flyout will be displayed. Choose Settings & Privacy from it. Next, select Settings from the options displayed.

Facebook account delete permanently

2. Next, select Privacy < Your Facebook information from the options displayed.

 Facebook account permanently steps

3. Choose View option located on the right of Deactivation and Deletion option to finally cease your Facebook account. Doing so, a new page opens up, with two options for deactivating or remove account.

Temporarily deactivate Facebook account

Depending on your choice, you can choose either of the two options. It will take 30 days for all your profile information get removed from the Facebook. Meanwhile, you can cancel the deletion process by activating Facebook profile within 30 days.

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