Table of contents:
- What actually happened in the Facebook data scandal?
- Why is that critical?
- What is Facebook doing now?
- Should I delete Facebook now?
- I want to delete Facebook - how do I do that?
Regardless of whether it's the data scandal or you want to spend more time in real life again: We'll tell you how to delete your Facebook account.
After the data scandal surrounding the company "Cambridge Analytica" became known, a movement was formed under the hashtag #DeleteFacebook that called for people to leave the social network. We'll tell you what it's about - and how to delete your Facebook account.
What actually happened in the Facebook data scandal?
Third parties can also dock their apps on Facebook - for example games, quizzes, personality tests or funny games that allow you to check which star you resemble, for example. Those who use these apps usually give their consent that the personal data on their Facebook profile may be used. From 2010 to 2015, the company allowed the developers of these apps to also collect the personal data of users who do not use these apps themselves - including unsuspecting friends of the users. The dubious data collection company "Cambridge Analytica" arrived via one of these apps a data set of more than 87 million people: their political orientation, religion, place of residence, their interests and likes. Information that allows far-reaching conclusions to be drawn about people's lives.
Why is that critical?
If you think that it is "only" about displaying targeted advertising on Facebook (which you could ignore in case of doubt or which might not be uninteresting in the case of a special offer), then you are unfortunately wrong. "Cambridge Analytica" was founded by Alexander Nix and Donald Trump's former campaign leader Stephen Bannon. It has not yet been proven whether the data were actually used in the US election campaign to secure the decisive votes for US President Trump, but the mere possibility of doing this through targeted, interest-based manipulation is frightening.
What is Facebook doing now?
Facebook has no headquarters in Austria, which is why legal experts disagree as to whether the much stricter Austrian data protection law is even applicable to the company that has its headquarters for Europe in Ireland. However, when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force at the end of May, it will apply to all European Facebook users. It then violates data protection law to pass on user data to third parties without their consent. Users must therefore expressly agree to this. When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had to answer for the data scandal in a five-hour hearing in front of the US Congress, he indicated that he wanted to check the stricter European data protection regulation for the American one as well. He also announced that there could be an ad-free version of Facebook in the future - but users would have to pay for it.
Should I delete Facebook now?
No - unless it eats up your entire time budget. You should just make yourself aware that all information and data that you leave on the social network can be read out. Therefore, you should not only check your privacy settings regularly and not necessarily consent to the use of your data when using apps.
I want to delete Facebook - how do I do that?
Some believe that a Facebook account can only be deactivated, but it can also be deleted completely. All users have to do is log in, follow this link in the help area and request deletion. According to the platform, however, it can take up to three months for the account and the related contributions to be deleted. If you want to back up your own Facebook data beforehand, you can do this in the account settings under "Download a copy of your Facebook data" and then under "Build my archive".