Why I deleted my Facebook account

Even if you have but don't use Facebook, log out of Facebook, or even delete the app entirely, Facebook STILL tracks you.

 min. read
June 12, 2021
Why I deleted my Facebook account

...and why deactivating is not enough.

I deleted (not just deactivated) my Facebook account and wanted to share why…

My Facebook account had been deactivated for the last month-or-so…mostly in hopes that Facebook would stop tracking my every move on the internet. You would think that would be enough, right? Wrong.

This morning, my wife showed me a screenshot of an ad for a drone accessory on HER Instagram feed. Since Instagram ads come from Facebook data (Instagram's privacy policy is currently a slave to Facebook), I was conflicted as to why or HOW Facebook knew I was searching for drone stuff over the last few days if my account was deactivated, and did some research.

I found this article on Inc.

If you prefer not to read the whole thing, let me just grab some snippets:

"You might have had some idea that Facebook was keeping tabs on what you do, but I'm willing to bet you'll be surprised by the volume of information Facebook has about you.(...)Websites and apps use Facebook's Pixel and software development kit (SDK) to collect information about your device and your activity, and send that to Facebook. Facebook uses that information to then show you targeted ads.(...)It's why people are convinced Facebook must be listening to their conversations since they see ads in their News Feed for the very products or items they were just talking about. Here's a newsflash: Facebook doesn't need to listen to your conversations. It already knows so much about you, it can practically read your thoughts."

I did some more research…

If you have a Facebook account, Facebook has stored the unique device ID on which you are using Facebook (phone, computer, etc.). Here is where it gets creepy. Even if you have but don't USE Facebook, log out of Facebook, or even delete the Facebook app entirely, Facebook STILL tracks you. Even though I deactivated my account, Facebook still knows when I visit, say, a drone site if that site has this Facebook Pixel on it. The Pixel grabs my device ID (which it has previously stored with my account since I used Facebook on my device in the past), references it with my account to see that it is, in fact, me, notates on my Facebook account that I am interested in drones, and then sends me targeted ads.

You might be wondering though why my wife saw my ads as well => because Facebook stored my IP address to my account and sends these ads out to anyone who is connected to the same Wi-Fi I am on.

Deleting Facebook

So, what can I do from here if I don't want Facebook tracking my every-move on the internet and collecting only-God-knows-what data on me to sell to anyone who would buy it?

1) I logged back into Facebook and turned off the Off Facebook Activity setting.

2) Then I went here to download the history of all my Facebook activity (post, pics, etc…), for archival purposes.

3) Then I went here to permanently DELETE my Facebook account.

Deleting my Facebook account permanently severs those Device ID links to me (or so it's supposed to according to Facebook)…so Facebook cannot track my Internet browsing habits. It may still be able to use my previous history up to this point, but any new stuff will not be linked. The long and short of it is, Facebook will not be able to track or collect free data from me. This, at least for now, keeps me safe on Instagram as well, since Instagram's data collection is tied to and not YET as robust as Facebook's. This may/probably will change in the future, and when it does, I will probably delete my Instagram account as well.

For what it's worth, this Device ID link and data-collection issue is why I advocated for getting off WhatsApp…because in May, WhatsApp (who is owned by Facebook) began collecting data like Device IDs, browsing history, financial info, location data, and so many more new metrics (like Facebook already does) and sharing it with anyone who wants to buy it WITHOUT the ability for users to opt out. I prefer not to be a product.

It's astonishing how much data apps and sites collect from their users. What they have on us is mind-boggling. Facebook is probably the worst offender, and it looks like they are slowly turning ALL of their products into data-mining tools to generate revenue. Last year, Facebook generated over $70 billion in ad revenue. They are making this money because they are selling US. I want to avoid helping Mark Zuckerberg get rich. I don't want a company in California reading my thoughts or knowing more about me than I know about myself. I'm done…and I wanted to let you all know why.

Just a warning

If you decide you would also like to delete your Facebook account, if you use Facebook to log in to any other site or program, this link will be severed as well, and you won't be able to log in. So if you use "Sign in with Facebook" anywhere, edit those accounts to have new login credentials BEFORE deleting your Facebook account.