Facebook has come under fire after allegations of improper data handling, prompting calls for users to delete their accounts. A #deleteFacebook hashtag is gaining traction over concerns that the social media site has not put enough measures in place to protect users’ data.
Prominent names in technology, such as WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, former Facebook executives Sean Parker and Justin Rosenstein, and investor Roger McNamee have also spoken out against the site in recent months.
About a week ago, reports surfaced of how information from more than 50 million profiles of North American Facebook users were accessed by a third party data company, Cambridge Analytica, and used to send targeted ads during the 2016 United States elections.
Cambridge Analytica had worked with data scientist and academic Aleksandr Kogan, from Cambridge University, to collect data for academic use. He paid hundreds of thousands of users to take a personality test, administered through a Facebook app called thisisyourdigitallife. However, the app also collected information of the test-takers’ Facebook friends, leading to the accumulation of a data pool tens of millions strong, according to the New York Times and Britain’s Observer newspaper.
While Facebook banned the app in 2015, the data collected was not destroyed, in violation of Facebook’s personal data policy. Critics also accused Facebook of not following up adequately on ensuring the data collected was destroyed. The concern of Facebook’s treatment of personal data has sparked a backlash online and on other social media platforms such as Twitter.
If you are concerned about Facebook’s treatment of personal data (read this first to learn how you can do to protect your personal data on Facebook) and want to move on from the platform, here are the common questions you might be asking and how to delete your account properly.
Text: Lester Hio/The Straits Times
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