Facebook, in what is being seen as the largest ever security fine levied on a company for disregarding consumer information, will pay a staggering $5 billion to the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations of its users. The Mark Zuckerberg-led company has also agreed to improve the said practices and create an “independent privacy committee”.
The penalty comes in the backdrop of the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal last year and increased scrutiny on tech firms. Last year, after WhatsApp was linked to forwarded messages that led to mob lynching of over a dozen people in several parts of India, prompting the Facebook-owned messaging app to roll out new features to curb fake news.
This month, the Russia-based FaceApp too faced allegations of creating a “Face bank” of sorts and saving the users pictures on their cloud without their knowledge. However, the company later issued a clarification refuting the same and also spoke of ways to delete the pictures from FaceApp.
However, despite the measures taken by tech firms, many users are still reluctant to trust the new changes. As per the Pew Research Center in September 2018, 26 percent users have deleted the Facebook app, whereas 42 percent users took a break from Facebook.
Similarly, if you are one of these users, you can also take some measures to ensure your privacy. You can deactivate your Facebook account or, better yet, delete it. Also, you can also check what information you are sharing with the platform.
What to do before permanently deleting Facebook account?
Permanently deleting the Facebook profile will mean that all your photos, status updates, videos will also be deleted along with your Facebook account. Unlike deactivating Facebook account which still allows the use of Facebook Messenger, deleting Facebook will also prevent you from using the Messenger.
It is important to note that the platform gives 30 days to reverse deleting your Facebook account. However, rest assured, your information will be inaccessible to you as well as other Facebook users.
It is advised that one should first download their Facebook data before they delete their account. Facebook will create a password-protected file that has all your posts and other content which is downloadable a few days after a request.
How to permanently delete Facebook account?
In order to permanently delete Facebook account, head to the Setting page which can be accessed through the arrow at the top right side of the website. Select Your Facebook Information link which can be found on Security and Login and go to Delete Your Account and Information link. Users will then have the option to Deactivate Account, which will allow you to either keep Messenger access, Download Your Information, or Delete Account.
If one has already downloaded your data, click on Delete Account. The user will then be prompted to enter their Facebook password again. Select Continue and then choose Delete Your Account.
As mentioned before, the user will be given 30 days to reverse their decision before all their Facebook data is permanently deleted. Users can into Facebook and choose option Cancel Deletion.
However, messages users sent to other Facebook users would still be visible to other users after the said account is deleted as anything posted by friends about is deemed as their data.
How to deactivate Facebook account?
While deactivating Facebook account will permanently delete any of your data, it will make your profile inaccessible to other Facebook users as well as you. So, deactivating is a good alternative if you just want to take a break from Facebook. To note, deactivating Facebook account will still allow users to continue using Facebook logins as well as the Facebook Messenger.
In order to deactivate Facebook account, head to Settings on the top-right side of Facebook. Choose Settings and click on General and go to Manage your account where users can find ‘Deactivate your account.’
How to manually delete data from Facebook?
If they are still concerned by privacy issues, one can also choose to manually delete their information from facebook, however, it is a time-consuming process.
Head to Download Your Information page where you will be directed to Access Your Information page. If you wish interested to delete what you have posted to your Facebook wall, choose Posts where you can choose to see Your own Posts, Posts in which you are tagged, other people’s posts to your timeline as well as the posts which are hidden from your timeline, among other things. Follow the same procedure for other categories.