Facebook is still tracking you even after you deactivate your account. If you like many others around the world were appalled by recent allegations about Facebook’s user privacy and data protection policy you may have deactivated your account to get some distance. But it turns out even deactivating your Facebook profile does little to stop Facebook collecting data on you.
Even without an active account, Facebook will continue to track your movements on the web and collect data just in case you decide to come back to the dark side. Facebook says it only removes all of your data if you permanently delete your account.
Facebook wants to 'serve you best'
The company says they continue to collect your data even after deactivation so they can serve you best when you do return. Figuring out exactly what Facebook is tracking and collecting about you is difficult at best, but even harder when you are technically deactivated.
The site suggests deactivation as a way to manage privacy but doesn’t say it will continue to keep an eye on you in this mode. Facebook’s lack of transparency is misleading, Kathleen McGee, the former chief of the New York State attorney general's Internet Bureau told CNET that she thinks most people would assume the work ‘deactivate’ would mean that your account is no longer being actively monitored.
Reputation in question
This isn’t the first time Facebook has been vague about what it is doing behind the scenes. Back in March 2018, Facebook was put under intense pressure when it was revealed a British consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, was collecting information about people on the social network through several personality quizzes.
The resulting scandal caused many people to delete or deactivate their account, and new research from the Pew Research Center found that 42 percent of Americans have taken a break from the social network at some point during the last year.
If you are feeling smug because you did delete your Facebook or never signed up for an account, to begin with - think again.
Sneaky Share button
Facebook is probably already tracking your internet habits via tools like the Facebook Pixel and plugins like the Share button on pages. The Facebook Share button is on more than 275 million web pages. The unassuming button allows advertisers to see what kind of content you're viewing.
It’s why you see lots of ads for holidays if you’ve been browsing hotels in another tab. Even if you aren't an account holder, Facebook can monitor your habits through your browsers and serve up targeted ads to you via its Facebook Audience Network.
So the bottom line is whether you are an active user of Facebook, have deactivated your account or even don’t use the social media platform, Facebook is monitoring you.