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How to protect your privacy when using Facebook

How to protect your privacy when using Facebook

Digital Privacy
callendarDecember 20, 2019

Facebook uses your personal data to provide specific products to you. You can decide what information to provide them in order to use their services. You can delete the information collected by Facebook via Facebook settings.

Personal data collected

Facebook collects your personal information when you sign up, make, share and comment on posts, and when you use Facebook Messenger to contact friends. This includes the date and location a photo was taken and can also include what you see through the features Facebook offers, such as taking pictures with the camera, so Facebook can suggest filters and give tips on camera formats. When you fill out your profile, you decide whether to share certain information with Facebook, for example religious and political views, health, your ethnicity and more. This profile information can be protected by certain laws depending on where you live.

Facebook collects information on who you are connected to, including groups, pages, people and hashtags. Facebook then sees your interactions through their various products and uses that data to help you find other people you may know. They also use contact information through your phone contacts and when you call or text someone they will collect that data as well, to better connect you to people on Facebook. They also collect information on the products you use through them. For example, the people you connect with, the features you use, the content you like and how often you do these activities.

If you make a donation or purchases through a Facebook game, they collect the billing information including card details, shipping and billing address, account information and contact information. When one of your friends shares a photo of you, tags you in a post or messages you Facebook collects that information as well.

Facebook collects device information from what you are using to access Facebook with, including

  • Operating system
  • Signal strength
  • Battery level
  • Hardware and software versions
  • Storage space
  • Browser type
  • App and file information
  • Plugins
  • Mouse movements
  • Window information (if it is in the foreground or background)
  • Device IDs
  • Family IDs
  • Information on games you play
  • App information
  • Account information
  • Bluetooth and WiFi signals
  • GPS location
  • Access to camera and photos
  • Mobile operator
  • ISP
  • Phone number
  • Time zone
  • Language
  • Connection speed
  • Cookies on your device

Advertising Partners

Facebook Business Tools allows advertisers, app developers and publishers to send information they have collected from you to Facebook. For example, they can use social plug-ins (getting you to like something off of Facebook), APIs or SDKs, Facebook pixel and Facebook login to collect and send information to Facebook. This tells them of your activities off of Facebook, which helps them determine what ads to show you. These people are required to have their own policies on collecting your data and sharing it to Facebook before they are allowed to share it.

Personal data usage

Facebook uses data to:

  • Personalize features and content
  • Make suggestions for groups or events related to your interests
  • Make the ads more relatable to your interests
  • Use face recognition to find you in other photos that you are not tagged in on Facebook
  • Prevent spam and account hacking
  • Research for social welfare, technological advancements, public, health and well-being

When you sign up for Facebook, you can determine what information you would like to share with the website. If you change your mind later, you can go into your settings and change what you want shared.

Deleting your account

When you delete your account, Facebook deletes your photos and status updates which is then lost forever. Posts and pictures from your account that your friends have shared cannot be deleted. You can also deactivate your account temporarily if you don’t want to delete it.  Go to your Facebook settings to do this.

Facebook account

With a Facebook account you can add or delete friends, join groups, like pages, manage your profile, send and receive messages to people, view locked content and more. You can control what information you share with Facebook through the settings of your account and when you sign-up. You can also change the privacy settings of your posts through your account settings.

How to protect your privacy

When using Facebook you can limit what information you share with them when setting up your account and in the settings section when your account is already set up.

You can also:

  • Choose to not add your phone number to your account.
  • Not access Facebook from your phone, instead use a computer browser so it won’t collect your phone’s information.
  • Clear the cookies, browsing history and more from your browser’s history settings.
  • Use safe browsing or incognito in order to prevent Facebook from saving your browser information and keeping you logged in.
  • Modify your shared information within your Facebook account.
  • Delete the Facebook app from your phone.
  • Not use/sign-up for a Facebook account.
  • Delete your Facebook account.

How to contact Facebook about your privacy

You can contact Facebook online or through snail mail at:

Facebook, Inc.

ATTN: Privacy Operations

1601 Willow Road

Menlo Park, CA 94025