Do You Still Trust Facebook?

You’ve probably seen and heard quite a bit about the scandal surrounding Facebook this week. The social media giant has been embroiled in a controversy when it was reported that Cambridge Analytics, a data firm used by the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, secretly harvested personal data from 50 million Facebook users.

For a full rundown here are a couple of links.

Lawmakers demand answers from Facebook after claim that analytics firm snatched user data for Trump campaign

The Cambridge Analytica files

The fallout has been huge. Facebook is seeing a big decline on Wall Street and users really upset. CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally stepped in front of cameras and microphones this week to apologize, but is it too late? Do you still trust Facebook? Did you ever?

Zuckerberg says the only information apps and websites will receive by default will be a person’s name, profile picture and email address moving forward. He also said Facebook would curb an app’s access to data if a person hasn’t used that app in three months.

But for many, this was the last straw. There are tons of Facebook users ready to pull the plug and delete their accounts entirely. But deleting your account isn’t as easy as you think. Not from the standpoint of a few clicks but more so because of how many accounts, websites, and apps we log in to Facebook with. When you get rid of it, you lose logins to those accounts, resulting in a lot of work most of us don’t want to do.

This article from The New York Times goes into detail about this problem. Here is an excerpt.

But while deleting your account is as simple as clicking on a few buttons, Facebook may be too ubiquitous to truly quit. For one, it would probably be inaccurate to say you have removed Facebook from your life just by leaving the site. Chances are you still use WhatsApp, the largest messaging app in the world, or Instagram, the most popular photo-sharing app. Facebook owns both.

Keep in mind that Facebook isn’t the only company capable of collecting your information. One big culprit: Web trackers, like cookies embedded into websites and their ads. They are everywhere, and they follow your activities from site to site.

You can quit Facebook if you simply find no joy in it. But if you’re looking to leave for philosophical reasons concerning privacy, it’s a futile effort. You may be better off tweaking your privacy settings on the site.

Are you quitting Facebook? Since most of us are so connected to the social media site, it’s probably not something most are willing to do. So if not now, what would it take for you to delete your account?

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Joe Long