How to take your data back from Facebook and delete your account

Facebook (FB), the world’s largest social network, is in hot water yet again. The company, which was already facing scrutiny for selling ads to foreign groups seeking to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election and inadvertently facilitating the spread of fake news and conspiracy theories, is getting hammered for allowing the profile data of 50 million Americans to be used by political operatives without users’ consent.

The group that used the data, Cambridge Analytica, did so to create and spread highly targeted advertisements seeking to elect Donald Trump and discredit Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the presidential election. But the organization received that information through questionable means, according to the New York Times.

The entire mess might have you wondering how you can control who sees your data on Facebook, or even how to delete your profile entirely. If that’s the case, I’ve got you covered.

Here’s how to control your data on Facebook, and, if you’re particularly fed up, how to delete your account entirely.

The data Facebook uses

Facebook lays out exactly what data it collects to craft a profile about you that can be used to target you with specific ads on its Data Use Policy site. And, as you might expect, it collects everything. Any post, like, comment, picture, video, friend you’ve added, news article or inside joke you’ve put on Facebook can be used as a means to serve you advertisements.

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Facebook uses your personal information to match you up with various advertisements on the social network.

Facebook can also use data like your date of birth, location and other information to provide you with ads you might find relevant, and improve the site itself.

Think of it as the built-in cost of using a massive service like Facebook for free.

It’s not just the information you share on Facebook that gets scooped up, though. All of those sites and services you log into using your Facebook account have access to some of your data, and how they handle that info is up to them.

Then there’s the content friends post about you. Yes, all of those pictures, memes and stories your friends tag you in get collected by Facebook, too. And unfortunately, you don’t have control of that information since you didn’t post it.

It’s important to note that Facebook isn’t the only company that collects and uses your data like this. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Twitter (TWTR) also use information about you to determine which advertisements to show you and help advertisers better target their campaigns.</span></p><h2 class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–s

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