Facebook Still Tracks You After You Deactivate Your Account

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Deactivation does nothing for your privacy. Everyone thought that after deactivating my Facebook account would prevent the social network from tracking me online. But Facebook always kept tabs on anyway. Over the past year, I’ve tried to limit my presence on Facebook. I have deleted a 10-year-old account and replace it with a fake account that I use as little as possible. I also deleted my facebook app from my phone.

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As of January, I started deactivating my fake account which every time I used, rather than just log out. I couldn’t break up totally with Facebook because I needed it to sign up twice a week for a workshop. I figured the precautions would decrease how much data Facebook collect about me. Turns out, I was just wasting my time.

Even when your account is deactivated but the social network continues gathering data about your online activities. All that information gets sent back to Facebook and is fixed to your account while it’s in this condition of limbo. It’s as if you’d changed nothing.

Facebook says it only possible removes all of your data if you permanently delete your account from Facebook. Deactivating of account isn’t as extreme, the company says, and the social network continues collecting your data in case you change your opinion and want to return to your profile. Facebook expects deactivated users to return and wants to keep serving them ads relevant to their new advantages.

‘A deceptive practice’

On the site, Facebook clarifies that deactivating is a half-step to complete deletion. But it says little about how information collection works during the period. In its data policy, Facebook proposes deactivation to manage your protection but doesn’t make reference to that it still collects data during that period.

The continuous collection of data from deactivated accounts could be viewed as deceiving, privacy experts warn.

Gabriel Weinberg, CEO, and founder of private search engine DuckDuckGo said: “Most people would expect less or no data gathering during a deactivated period, and deactivated means cease to operate, and you wouldn’t expect all the wheels to be turning.” For consumer transparency purposes, I would be worried that this is a tricky practice.

Kathleen McGee, former chief of New York State attorney general’s Internet Bureau said: “The average person would expect that Facebook pauses information gathering when your account is deactivated.” she also explained that people could look at deactivating accounts and mistake it for a quit when it isn’t.”

McGee, now a technology counsel at the Lowenstein Sandler law firm said “For consumer transparency purposes, I would be concerned that this is a deceptive practice,” The obscure disclosure the social network gives is another point of worry about its privacy protections.

Active tracking

Facebook already tracks people on the web, even when they’re logged out or don’t have an account, through tools like the Facebook pixel and plugins like the Share button on pages.

The social network’s Share button is on 275 million web pages. It collects information enabling advertisers to see what sort of content you’re seeing. That’s the reason you’re probably going to see ads for games on your Facebook feed if you’ve been visiting a ton of games sites.

If you aren’t a member then the social network can identify you through your browsers and send ads using its Facebook Audience Network, the company detailed in 2016. The service uses your browsing habits to target promotions as you surf the internet, as it would on the off chance that you were on Facebook. Even if you don’t have an account, Facebook is still following you.

Also Read: Facebook Exposed up to 600 million User Passwords to its Employees

Facebook said deactivating your account was never intended to be a measure for data privacy but rather for privacy from other people on Facebook. It makes sense to deactivate your account if you’re trying to hide from different people online fact that other users won’t see your profile, posts and past comments. You’re basically invisible to everyone on the social network. Except Facebook. It does nothing to keep Facebook from gathering data on you.

The company said that your best point to stop the data gathering is to delete your account. You’ll get 30 days to change your opinion. In this period, Facebook will continue collecting data about you. Weinberg recommended that Facebook either change its data gathering for deactivated accounts or explain that caveat better to individuals.

Weinberg said that “Companies should normally try to coordinate to user expectations to whatever feature they’re providing,”. McGee said that “Surprising customers is normally a cause for alarm for regulators, With Facebook failing to explicitly explain that your data is still being gathered, even when your account is deactivated, the former prosecutor argued, a reasonable consumer is being misled.” Get ready for another way to watch your shows in an already packed battle for your views.

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