Following British firm Cambridge Analytica being accused of misusing data gleaned from Facebook users, people are questioning how they will continue to use the social media site.
While social media is a great tool to use to foster relationships with people from across the world, you must also be savvy with the data you put across online to avoid potential snafus.
Here’s how to find out just what sort of information you share via apps on Facebook and ultimately how to delete your account.
What sort of data does Facebook have on its users and what does it share?
Every interaction on Facebook generates data.
Users volunteer some information in their profile like their hometown and birthday. Other data could be about interests gleaned from publicly liking content – be that dogs and walking or sci-fi films and beauty bloggers.
Facebook also knows where you log on to its site from, the device you use, and which ads you click on.
Apps which work on the site, like mini games and personality quizzes, request a user’s permission to take this information – a person’s data. There are rules about what third parties can do with it.
Facebook says data collected via a quiz app called ThisIsYourDigitalLife, billed as a personality predictor, was passed to Cambridge Analytica in violation of its terms.
Where can I find details about what apps I’ve given access to?
Visit www.facebook.com/settings or, on the desktop site, settings is located on the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the blue header bar.
Click on the apps tab on the left-hand side of the screen to see all the apps you’ve okayed.
Deleting an app may still allow the developer to retain some of a user’s personal information.
How do my friends impact on apps?
People on Facebook who can see your info can bring it with them when they use apps.
This makes their experience ‘better and more social’, according to Facebook.
You can use the settings under the Apps Other Use section to control the categories of information that people can bring with them when they use apps, games and websites.
If you don’t want apps and websites to access other categories of information – such as your friends list, gender, or any other public information – you can turn off all Platform apps.
What is Facebook Platform?
The Facebook Platform is a set of services, tools, and products provided by the social networking service Facebook for third-party developers to create their own applications and services that access data in Facebook.
By turning it off, you lose some functionality but it means your information is not automatically shared as you surf the web.
How to see your Facebook data
Facebook says most of this data is already available in your account and activity log, but it also includes information on ads you have clicked on and the IP addresses you’ve used.
It will also reveal email addresses previously associated with your account, topics of ads which may be targeted to you and the metadata contained in photos uploaded to Facebook.
How do I deactivate or delete my account?
Deactivating allows you to log back in in the future and have your Facebook profile completely restored. While deactivated, people won’t be able to search for you or see your page, but the info is retained.
To permanently delete your Facebook account, visit www.facebook.com/help/delete_account to start the process. It may take up to 90 days to delete all the things you’ve posted, says Facebook.