Following Facebook's data debacle, did you delete your account? (poll)

You've probably noticed Facebook in the news over the past weeks for all the wrong reasons. This certainly isn't the first time the social network has come under fire. The issue at hand this time is an app developer managed to obtain data of not only those who participated in a quiz but also the friends of participants and passed it to a company called Cambridge Analytica for marketing and political targetting.

Related: Facebook never earned your trust and now we're all paying the price

This isn't the first time this has occurred, and Facebook accounts have been harvested for political use before. But users of the platform (and other services) continue to remain attached to Facebook or choose to ignore the issues at hand. Either way, this is bad news and only harms the trust between consumers and companies.

Many have started deleting their Facebook accounts in response. I, personally, still have it active but do not have much data on there and do not use it on a regular basis at all. It all comes down to how much data you're comfortable parting with, as well as whether or not you fully trust the third-party.

Do I trust Facebook? No. But do I trust any company I have an online account with? Not really.

How this will damage Facebook is another question, though I'm already looking to alternative platforms for my future social media presence. I'm interested in learning your thoughts on the issue and whether you've deleted your Facebook account.

Fear not, we will not sell your votes to anyone ...

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I had them delete mine long before the election.
  • You need another answer option. "Never had a Facebook account." And proud of it...
  • Why she you proud of it?
  • How does that option correlate to deleting due to data misuse? How would data misuse affect somebody that has never had an account?
  • The GOV'MENT!!
  • How many people now feel validated in their decision to never make an account on a site that focused on using your actual information when creating the account? While I realize you could just put john smith or whatever, the fact they based it on 'real name' as opposed to a handle or 'screen name' like everything else threw up red flags. Those that never made an account are like, "See? See? That's what I thought!"
  • Right... But, again, it would have no use for the sake of a poll created as a result of this revelation. Folks who want the "I never had Facebook" just want to join in on a poll that is not relevent to them.
  • You said it. Never had one, never will.
  • me too...never on tweeter either!
  • Well, I've never had a Twitter account. Can you top that?
  • I disabled my account years ago. At the time it was not possible to actually delete the account. Once in a while someone tries to hack into it and I get emails to reactivate my account.
  • Giater - me too
  • I will the day I also delete my Google, Microsoft and Apple account. 'cause what Facebook did ALL tech companies do. They were simply caught. At any rate, I never put any relevant information on any of those sites anyway. No matter how much Facebook asks me to.
  • There's similarity in that they all collect data, yes. Facebook has a much worse history of being sloppy with it, though. Google has the same ad-driven business model so theoretically are as motivated to pass along your data to whoever asks, but they have a much better record. Microsoft and Apple don't make much of their money from your data so they don't have the same motivation for things like this to happen, and similarly have a pretty good record. This was far from the first time that Facebook has had an "oops, we got lazy about your data again" moment. Not just that their secure servers got hacked once every 15 years, but that their policies are terrible and all it takes is one person ignoring them to get 50 million people's data to somebody who wasn't supposed to have it. I don't blame anybody who opts out of giving their data to any of them. It's definitely a reasonable position. But I do think there are meaningful distinctions between them.
  • Have no issues with Apple and MS. Apple collects absolute minimum data cause their business is not based on Ads. Microsoft is not in the Ad Business, but they use the cloud more than Apple, who does more on device storage and processing of data (giving some experiences a de facto disadvantage vs competitors). I will never own an Android phone again, and I do all important work on macOS, using Windows for gaming only.
  • People working for the Obama campaign bragged about how Facebook let them have all the data they wanted. So this is not the first time and Facebook was actually working with Obama.
  • you have an Apple account??
  • @DJCBS
    That seems so superficial it almost makes no sense. Yes, they all collect data. That's not really the point however. If that's where your analysis stops then you haven't analyzed much. Far more important is what those companies do with that data and how they treat it. There are huge differences in these areas. MS explicitly states in their ToS which companies they share data with, and these are limited to those who require access as they manage MS' overseas data centers, all of whom are also under NDA. Apple does the same. Google and particularly Facebook are quite different in that regard. I haven't looked into what Facebook did, as I don't have an account there and don't care. However, nothing I've heard so far makes me think they have a legal problem. I suspect it's at most a PR problem. For MS and Apple something similar is far more likely to result in legal action against them as a result of their ToS, although I can't say whether that would be the case in this particular instance.
  • Since when did Microsoft give all its user data to the Obama and Clinton campaigns?
  • Just saw in the news that Facebook is holding off on announcing their smart speaker. That made me laugh.
  • I didn't delete, but I have used it less and less over the past few years. Not just out of privacy concerns; mainly because I'm not sure it actually makes my or anybody else's life better in any way. I mostly feel like I need to keep it for Messenger. It's still the default messaging system for a lot of people. I keep Messenger on my phone but not the main Facebook app.
  • 35% of the users here have either just deleted it or deleted it years ago? That makes me question the accuracy of this poll. Facebook has not seen that kind of drop off. Yes, there is a lot of anecdotal noise about people leaving, but the real numbers are not close to what this poll shows. I kind of got a kick out of listening to Leo Laporte delete his account "for real this time" only to hear him say a week later that he had restored it.
  • The accuracy of the poll is likely close to if not at 100%. What you should question is the sample group, i.e. "windows central readers who like to take polls". It's a pretty niche one.
  • Not to mention at my time of writing this, the poll has been open for an hour. Not an accurate sample yet. Give it 48 hours.
  • Plus...we are Windows 10 Mobile users...we are trend buckers that clearly aren't demanding every aspect of social media.
  • There is probably a misunderstanding between "deactivate" and "delete" - I've deactivated and reactivated my account in the past and didn't even know there is now an option to actually delete it now until just recently. Before if you wanted to have the account completely removed you'd have to go through hoops and stuff and even then it was an uphill battle. Hell even now if you do delete your profile for good, Facebook creates a "shadow profile" for you, even if you've never owned Facebook in your life. So you can never truly get rid of your presence on their system unless Facebook goes down for good.
  • When FB starts to panic with lost users, that's when you know it's serious. Right now, most of this talk is just puffery.
  • This poll is mostly state side, where Facebook is growing is Asia.
  • I still have mine and use it sometimes. I think the way to scare FB would be a worldwide mass-organised logging out, millions of people at once so the server traffic takes a massive drop in the space of a few seconds. Advertisers would go batsh*t if that happened
  • No, and I don't really get what the fuss is about. Don't get me wrong, I don't LIKE the way that Facebook treats and uses data, but I also think it's strange that so many people apparently have a problem with Facebook doing something you agreed to let them do... It's almost as if hundreds of millions of people not only didn't read the TOS, but are also completely oblivious to their own actions. When you click on one of those "which Kardashian are you?" Quizzes and it pops up saying "this app would like access to: Your full profile information. Your text messages. Your microphone. Your camera. Your dignity. Your soul." Did you think it was a joke?
  • I've purged all of my information, photos, wall posts, and have deactivated it. Will need to reactivate it and go through the horrible process of deleting my entire activity history. I still keep Messenger for now either way, but once I've managed to find an alternative method of staying in touch with everyone, that's when I'll delete it for good.
  • Try,
  • I purged a lot, for whatever good that does. It's the Primary way ling distance family, in my case all my family, see pics of my kids. I'd rather have a paid service
  • Deleting still keeps your profile on their servers for several years for their next endeavor!
  • Dumped Facebook years ago and never felt better or liberated lol
    I hate Facebook and hope it eventually goes the way of myspace.
  • Nah man, hope it takes a more Friendster route.
  • I deactivated it, but not necessarily for this. I hadn't used it in ages, with no plans to return. I had been thinking of deactivating it anyway, and this just pushed that to the front burner.
  • I've been going through and removing old data that shouldn't be there, but I intend to delete Facebook on March 31 and start fresh without Facebook in April. Giving me the next couple days to reach out to any friends on Facebook and confirm I got their right phone number and email so I can still stay in touch and make plans. It's going to be weird for a bit I'm sure since practically everyone I know is on there but I've just had enough with the platform and maybe me leaving will inspire others to follow suit.
  • Saw this coming from a mile away, so I never created an account on any social media site that utilized any personal information. Call me a luddite, but I like to think I knew when to say "no".
  • I laugh everytime I read this article. This has been happening for years but now that Facebook is to blame for Hillary's loss (the other excuses failed), they're in big trouble.
  • Facebook is under fire for giving user data to a firm that misrepresented themselves, violating Facebook's own internal policies. No one mentioned Hilary but you.
  • They HAD to "misrepresent themselves" because Facebook is run by Democrats. They bragged about helping Obama in 2012. THAT is their "internal policies" - help Democrats only. I guarantee you they gave the same info - probably more - to Clinton. If Clinton had won, this would not be an issue. This is purely politics, not a technical/moral/ethical issue. As far a this stupid poll, I have never had a facebook account and wouldn't open one for $1,000. Same for twitter, myspace 10 years ago, and whatever other stupid data collection sites exist.
  • Too late now. Whatever they've got they already got it plus all my friends use Facebook, so just because I delete doesn't mean they can't keep track of me
  • Most of people just do not care about "their" data, as long as it works. What would they all do if there wasn't one, some spend more than half of their time on it...
  • I have my personal page with opinion posts and photo albums open to everyone, as well as an interest page and a business page. The only thing that changes for me, is that I will try to avoid Facebook as a sign in for other services. I rather use Microsoft or Google.
  • I deleted Face Book 1 hour after installing it, when it was first released. Even a blind man could see the potential for problems. But people don't seem to give a ****.
  • I never ever had a social media account until LinkedIn a few years ago when I was forced by an employer and I've kept it. A year ago I created a ghost FB account under a fake name, never any friends or info, and everything as private as possible. I only used it to join groups. But yes, I deleted it last week in the wake of all this crap. Screw FB.
  • "Following Facebook's data debacle, did you delete your account? (poll)"
    Why? Did you delete your Google account?
  • No, because I'm not a halfwit who can be swayed by marketing gimmicks to convince me to vote for Democrats or Republicans.
  • I always assumed everything I put on Facebook was public so this doesn't bother me at all. Anyone thinking Facebook was private wasn't paying attention. This should be no surprise.
  • No, but I plan on using the new tools to review and purge some of my data. I also plan on setting up tighter security.
  • Not using my real name, so i don't care. That's where my family is.
  • So you're happy to be breaking Facebook's terms and conditions? Technically your profile is fake if you're not using your real name
  • What I find precious is people jumping on facebook for this when every other buisness they deal with is doing the same stuff. Google, Apple, Amazon, Comcast, AT&T, Your grocery store rewards card, your Cell provider, your ISP, the coffee shop WiFi, etc. What you really should be wondering is why is facebook in particular being hung out to dry?
  • Why weren't people demanding public executions when Equifax was hacked and lost 120 million people's credit score ssn and account info? This was the biggest scariest thing ever and it was swept under the rug. And you have no control over their data collection. Facebook thing has been happening for years this is a farce. Feel bad for zuckerburg for once.
  • There is another option missing: "No, because i only share data i want to be public anyways".
  • I deleted my account 9 or 10 years ago for a few reasons. The first and primary reason was for privacy concerns, which later proved correct. I just didn't trust Facebook with my personal data. The second reason was that the service was an incredible time sink. You could lose hours looking up/stalking old friends, waste time taking tests and quizzes, join as many groups as you could find where you have even the slightest interest or connection. It just went on. Lastly, I just simply did not care about the lives of people who I hadn't seen in years. What was once private became public. That and a lot of it was bullshit too. Facebook "friends" is meaningless: people are just collecting as many as they could like Pokemon but aren't making meaningful connections. So yeah, that's me and why I quit Facebook.
  • Spot on.
    To me, Facebook is a blend of narcissism (I want to present myself to the world in the best possible light), voyeurism (I want to look into other people’s lives without them knowing) and stimulation/addiction (being liked is like getting a dopamine shot and makes you come back).