Deleting your Facebook account

All the years of having a blog and I never thought that the web would make me feel over exposed. I am paranoid when it comes to computers because I know that everything that we put out there not only CAN be tracked, but it is already being tracked.

That does not bother me all that much. That is until you think of the audience.

Facebook has already called personal problems for me. When you have everyone you know being capable of knowing where you are at, what you are doing, what you are listening to, what you are eating… it gets a little intrusive. I love sharing things, places I love to go, burgers that are too big to be healthy, Gyros to make friends that cannot get them hungry, etc. It is the active thing that I like, the choice I make… but when we are moving to a “frictionless” way of sharing, it changes a lot.

Once I got my iPhone, I started to realize how a lot of applications are now connected directly to facebook. From your little phone minigames, to your music streaming apps. They are all connected to facebook. If you have not researched how to get rid of your facebook, you don’t know that it takes 14 days of not loggin into it for your account to be deleted. If any of your little apps logs in, bam, your account is back!

I am not deleting my facebook account just yet. I want to see how the new “timeline” feature really works before I cry foul.

Online interaction is a lot different than having a dinner party at your house. Unless you have your life completely compartmentalized, anything you share will be seen by everyone. I was used to thinking that way for a long time because of the blog… but now facebook might make it that way because of my life.

I just heard on the news this weekend that OnStar even if you are not paying for the service anymore continues to gather data on your car. Your car basically will track your speed, location, how long you leave your (check engine light) on, etc. This is all consumer data that can and will be sold. Scary right?

Well facebook does the same thing to your online experience. Even if you are not logged in, they are still able to track everything you do online. And now that they are adding “frictionless” posting, this might extend to everything you do.

All this information was available before if someone had enough computer tracking skills. A couple of programs in your computer and I could track your every move… but imagine everyone you know being able to do that to your life. Everyone could know that I spent most of 2010 eating Chinese food every day, not just my friends that I would joke with when I would order it because the lady already knew my voice and was ready to just send the food.

I simply don’t like it. I think it is too much information out there. There are years of my life that I seriously don’t want to remember.

The ultimate purpose of this post is simple. Think about your online behavior and see if that is something you want everyone in your facebook to know. And I am not just talking about your pr0n escapades either, but lets say that you and your spouse are looking at adoption sites… is that something that you want everyone to know?

Just think about it, and start keeping track of what sites (or little apps) you use your facebook sign on to access. If you ever wanted to delete your facebook, you would have to go to each one of them. It might not be a bad idea to have a list.


Check out the comments for some really great links! Also make sure you check all those apps you have (like spotify, and make sure they are not “integrating” with facebook.)

7 comments on “Deleting your Facebook account

  1. I was curious about your statement, “Even if you are not logged in, they are still able to track everything you do online.” so I did a web search.

    I’ll be dipped in shit!

    I am giving them a day to respond and if it is true or they don’t respone, I will be posting my two week termination notice on FaceBook.

  2. Mo, cookies sound delicious, but you would be surprised what the ones that browsers have store. I remember in the early days of online banking… you could find a lot of information on those cookies.

  3. Weird, it might be because it has been the noise recently on the development blogs and with people that have facebook developer accounts. What they are doing goes beyond scary… I mean it scares the ones that are aware of it, but what about the millions of people that don’t have the technical background to understand what it really means.

    For example.

    Last week I read an article about capital punishment, and it lead me to read some more information about some of the crimes the death row inmates had committed. I have the stomach for it, but I would not want everyone in my family reading about that stuff. I mean I read a lot of really extreme stuff, not because I am interested or changed by the content, but because I like to be informed.

    Also it is interesting that I have a post titled already along the same lines as “the end of the web as we know it.” Ownership over content is starting to get really complex.

  4. I used to have this same discussion with Chris Packham; I told him (from my perspective of working for the Nexus of E-vil – the federal government) that any and everything entered into the ‘net was kept forever. Moreover, all public data – city-cams, traffic-cams et alis – was also entered, kept forever and then correlated with ‘net data: FB was therefore nothing but a voluntary citizen tracking app. Add the idiocy of 4square, lo-jacks/gps, phone gps and endless ‘droid/iEverything apps to the vaunted powers of Google satellite/mapping and you have an ad hoc (inter)national surveillance system that was always Admiral Poindexter’s wet dreams…

    Once normalized against standard DBs like the NCIC, local/state police DBs, the FBI’s internal DBs, as well as the rest of the alphabet agencies’ data sets, what used to be considered ‘normal’ day to day anonymity was lost before Bush the Lesser left office.

    And it’s never coming back.

    Not sayin’ you can’t still put stuff out on the ‘net. Just sayin’ once you do it’s not yours anymore. It’s ours.

  5. I’m waiting for the OnStar / Facebook defense.

    Somebody commits murder but leaves their Car and Phone and all Internet devices on and active at home. Then goes out and murders somebody.

    All of a sudden, your electronics become your alibi. Oh it’ll happen. Just you wait.

  6. That is the interesting concept of all of this, that technology can be tampered by those that know how… just like evidence… digital evidence tampering. Both OnStar and Facebook are now backpedaling… however, I think the damage has been done to their brands. But like Nick said, its not news to a lot of us.

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