Facebook continues to track you even after you deactivate the profile

If you want to disappear from Facebook's radar, you must necessarily delete the account. Otherwise, as discovered by an American journalist, you will be tracked

A Facebook profile is forever, or almost. You might say that knowing that the well-known social network continues to track your behavior even if you deactivate your profile. As long as you don't delete your account completely, in fact, Facebook continues to record your online behavior, hoping for your return to the platform.

A CNET journalist discovered this by doing an experiment lasting over three months. "For the past year," explains CNET's Alfred NG, "I've been trying to minimize my presence on Facebook. I deleted a 10-year-old account and replaced it with a dummy account that I use as little as possible. I deleted the app from my phone. Starting in January, I started deactivating my dummy account every time I used it, rather than logging off. I couldn't break up with Facebook completely because I needed to sign up twice a week for a workshop. I thought the precautions would reduce the amount of data Facebook collected on me. But I was just wasting my time."

How and why Facebook tracks you online

The reporter indeed had to take note that, even with the account deactivated (but not deleted altogether), Facebook was still recording information about his online activity. As if nothing had changed with the deactivation, in short. On the other hand, Facebook writes clearly in its terms of use: the user's data are permanently deleted only if you delete the account, deactivating it is not enough. This is because Facebook knows that many users come back after more or less long periods during which they keep the profile on standby. And, of course, when they come back Facebook wants to continue to administer targeted advertising to them. However, Facebook doesn't clearly say what it tracks during the profile deactivation period and that, according to privacy experts, is an unfair practice. In fact, the average user thinks that if the profile is deactivated, so is the data tracking. But that's not the case.

Other problems with privacy

By now it is well known that the management of privacy on Facebook is far from perfect: not even after the Cambridge Analytica scandal has the Menlo Park company put in place measures to protect the personal data of its users really effective. On the contrary, a few days ago it was discovered that two databases containing the personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users were hosted on Amazon servers without any encryption or other protection measures. In that case it wasn't Facebook's fault, but the story clearly shows how Zuckerberg's company sells our data to third companies that don't guarantee a safe management at all.