Quit Facebook Day is calling for people to quit using Facebook on May 31 in response to the latest round of Facebook privacy changes. There is even a Facebook page devoted to the cause. “If you agree that Facebook doesn’t respect you, your personal data or the future of the Web, you may want to join us,” QuitFacebookDay.com explains.
Do you know all the privacy changes? This truly is a case of what you don’t know will hurt you, so be sure to find out the changes, how to use them to protect yourself and how to delete your facebook account.
Due to a massive public outcry, as well as a lawsuit, Facebook ended the “Beacon” application in November 2009 (2). It also paid $9.5 million in a court settlement, with a good portion of the money being issued as grants to organizations that research online privacy.
Bret Taylor, the Facebook Director of Platform Product, announced and demonstrated several “social plugins” for Facebook partner sites, including a “like” button that could be installed on a partner site and then used to communicate a Facebook member’s approval of a certain product or news item located on the Web back to Facebook. Another plugin would show a Facebook user’s activity on a third party site. Finally, a “recommendations” plugin would provide suggested content from a Facebook user to other Facebook users.
Unfortunately, it is not that easy to delete a Facebook account. On its privacy page, Facebook does offer instructions for deactivating a user account, but then states that when a user deactivates his or her account, Facebook will still hold onto that user’s pictures and postings. Deleting a Facebook account ensures that all of one’s pictures and posts are gone, but doing so also requires that one look through the entire privacy page in order to find out how to correctly complete this step. In some cases, users have better luck going to outside sources, such as WikiHow (7), when trying to permanently delete a Facebook account.
Users who simply wish to change their privacy settings so that Facebook does not show as much of their
personal information have an even harder time completing such a task. In some cases, users must go to outside news reporting sites in order to successfully hide their online purchase histories or their personal likes (6). Part of the problem is that Facebook offers 50 different privacy settings with over 170 options (8). This maze has been a source of frustration for many Facebook users who wish to remain with the social networking site without compromising their privacy.
1. Facebook Ads makes a flashy debut in New York http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-9811932-36.html
2. Judge Approves $9.5 Million Facebook ‘Beacon’ Accord http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/03/facebook-beacon-2/
3. Facebook fixes security bug in chat program http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/05/blog-finds-possible-security-flaw-in-facebook-chat/
4. Understanding Facebook’s privacy aftershocks http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/05/07/cnet.facebook.privacy/index.html
5. Facebook F8: One graph to rule them all http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-20003053-36.html?cnn=yes
6. Some quitting Facebook as privacy concerns escalate http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/05/13/facebook.delete.privacy/index.html?eref=edition
7. How to Permanently Delete a Facebook Account http://www.wikihow.com/Permanently-Delete-a-Facebook-Account
8. Facebook Privacy: A Bewildering Tangle of Options http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/12/business/facebook-privacy.html
Thank you to our visiting author, Halina Zakowicz (Hally Z.), a featured Business & Finance contributor on Associated Content. She also owns and operates Your Money and Debt, a personal finance blog.