Facebook’s latest scandals involving Cambridge Analytica and Barack Obama’s campaign team allowed to break the user rules is prompting many to ponder whether deleting their Facebook account is the right move. But Facebook can still track you even if you delete your account.
By connecting your Facebook profile to a third-party app, you’re typically also granting that app permission to access your data. You can check which apps your Facebook account is sharing data with by clicking here.
That includes your name, profile picture, cover photo, gender, networks, username and user ID. These apps can also access your friends list and any other public data. Once the outside parties have access to your data, they can then use it to track different types of activity.
Many popular apps such as Instagram, Spotify, Airbnb, and Tinder can be connected to your Facebook account. Just weeks ago, for example, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe bragged that the company stores “an enormous amount of information” about users, and even tracks where they go after the movie has ended. MoviePass is also among the many apps that can be connected to your Facebook. And that’s just the beginning.
According to The Daily Mail, taking Facebook quizzes from third-party services, or doing image generators (such as the ever-popular “What Would Your Baby Look Like”, or “What Would You Look Like As The Opposite Sex”), also often gives outside firms access to your data. While these are usually preceded by a pop-up asking permission to access certain parts of your profile, many users have taken to clicking through without thoroughly reading what they’ve just agreed to. Some users are now expressing their horror upon realizing they’ve granted permission to hundreds of third-party apps. Other apps that have experienced viral popularity over the last few years, such as Facetune and Meitu, can access your Facebook data as well.
One way to try and ensure that your data stays private is to request that your Facebook account be deleted, but that doesn’t protect the information that you have already supplied. Many users are willing to trade off the risk of supplying their data for the convenience of staying connected to friends and others on the social network. Others are not.
So what can you do to protect your data if you want to stay on Facebook? To begin, visit the settings area of Facebook found via the drop-down arrow in the top right-hand corner of your profile page on the desktop version of the site. Then click on the apps tab on the left of the page and click “show all” at the bottom, then you can see, edit, and remove all the apps you’ve ‘consented’ to track your account.
Now, a likely vast list of all apps that can access and view your own personal data will be revealed. To edit or remove these apps from your list of permitted platforms, simply hover the mouse over one of the options. Clicking the pencil icon will bring up the edit options and clicking the ‘X’ will bring up the option to remove it. For each app that has access to the data, users can go in and customize what permissions are granted to each app.
But this is all just the tip of the iceberg so far. Facebook has untold and even horrifying amounts of information about all of its users, even those who have deleted their accounts. We will do our best to update you on the newest ways to protect your private information online as more information continues to come out.