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Facebook actively tracks users with disabled accounts

Facebook tracks almost everyone online, but disabled accounts are still tracked liked active users.

Published onApril 9, 2019

The Facebook logo on a blue background.
  • Facebook tracks users with disabled accounts as if the account were active.
  • The social network doesn’t mention this practice in its data policy.
  • Facebook states that disabling accounts is meant to be used to hide their accounts, but not as a means of privacy.

Facebook is likely the last social network that you think of when it comes to user privacy. This probable belief is primarily thanks to a string of data leaks and security issues that seem to pop up every few weeks. Now, thanks to a report from CNET, we know that Facebook tracks and stores data on users who have deactivated their accounts.

When it comes down to ditching Facebook, the social network allows users to deactivate or delete their accounts. In either case, most people likely believe that Facebook would stop actively collecting and targeting them with ads. They would be wrong.

When talking with CNET, Facebook stated that the option to deactivate one’s account was to hide it from others online. According to the company, the setting was never a means for data privacy.

What makes this situation worse is that Facebook doesn’t outline this practice in its data policy. The document references disabling your account as a means of privacy, but the social network doesn’t state the continued data collection.

The social network can continue tracking users across the internet using the Facebook Audience Network. Thanks to the Facebook Share buttons on over 275 million websites, the online conglomerate is still able to gather data on you to share with advertisers.

How to update your Facebook privacy settings
Facebook app on phone 3

If you want Facebook to track you less, your best bet is to delete your account. Unfortunately, it has been proven that the social network collects data on almost everyone online. It doesn’t matter much if the user has a Facebook account or not.

One thing to keep in mind is that Facebook waits 30 days to delete your data from its servers. The social network does this just in case you decide to come back. During these 30 days, Facebook will continue tracking and collecting your data.

What do you think about Facebook tracking? Should users have to use adblockers and other means to remove their digital footprints from the internet? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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