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How to permanently delete your Facebook account and keep your photos – CNET

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Delete your account! Here’s how to say buh-bye forever to Facebook.


Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, you’ve likely seen Facebook all over it. Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, testified before Congress alleging that Facebook knew its services, like Instagram, may hurt teens. Her testimony also included details alleging Facebook’s internal research shows weakness in fighting misinformation. On Tuesday night, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded in a post. If the controversy has you convinced you should cut ties with the social media account, we’ll tell you below the steps to follow.

It’s important to note that there’s a difference between deleting your Facebook account and deactivating it. Deactivating your Facebook account temporarily freezes it, which is useful if you want a brief hiatus. But that does nothing to prevent the company from tracking your online activity

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To fully separate from Facebook, deleting your account is the only answer. Deleting it also severs ties to Facebook Messenger, the platform’s chat app. (If you want to also get rid of Instagram and WhatsApp, which are Facebook properties, you’ll have to do that separately.) We’ll explain some things you’ll need to consider before going through the process, which requires time and patience. 

1. Delete the Facebook app from your phone and tablet

The first step is to delete the app from your smartphone or tablet. Remember that deleting the Facebook app doesn’t delete your account — you can still access it from the browser and other apps might still use Facebook as a login.

Removing the icon from your phone gets it out of sight and mind, but it doesn’t do anything to your overall account. You’ll need to make sure you do all these other steps or Facebook can still track your online activity. 

2. Choose a messaging or social media alternative

Privacy and security with Signal and WhatsApp Messaging

There are plenty of messaging alternatives you can use to keep in touch with others. 


James Martin/CNET

Remember, when you delete your Facebook account, your Messenger access goes with it. Meaning, you’ll need to reach out to those you frequently talk to on Messenger and figure out another app or messaging service to use to stay in touch. 

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Take the same approach with your Facebook friends in general. Post a status a few days before you plan on deleting your account, and ask that anyone who wants to keep in touch send a message with their contact info.

Facebook also gives you the option to transfer your photos, videos, notes and posts to other sites like Google Photos and Dropbox. Here’s how to do that

3. Disconnect your Facebook account from other apps and logins

Third-party developers such as Spotify and DoorDash have long offered the option of using your Facebook account as a way to sign up and log in to their services. It’s convenient because it keeps you from having to remember yet another password. That is, until you don’t have a Facebook account anymore.

You’ll need to address those outside accounts that rely on your Facebook info by logging in to each account and disconnecting it from your Facebook account. 

To find a list of apps linked to your Facebook account:

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  • Sign in to Facebook.
  • Go to Settings > Apps and websites
  • If you’re having trouble figuring out how to unlink your Facebook account from a service, contact the company’s customer service department for help.
facebook-app-logins

Don’t lose access to apps and services you use Facebook to log in to. 


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Once that’s done, request and download a copy of all your Facebook data by following these steps: 

  • Log in to Facebook on your computer
  • Go to Settings > Your Facebook Information
  • Click View next to Download Your Information
  • Leave all of the boxes checked under the Your Information section
  • Leave the date range to All of my data.
  • Leave the format set to HTML — doing so puts your data in an easy-to-navigate format. 
  • In order to save high-resolution copies of photos and videos you’ve posted to Facebook, change the Media Quality drop-down from Medium to High. 

Finally, click Create File. Facebook will then gather all of your information and send you an email when it’s ready to be downloaded. It can take some time for this to happen — it’s not an instant process. 

screen-shot-2021-10-06-at-1-08-57-pm.png

Download all your Facebook data before doing anything else. 


Screenshot by Katie Teague/CNET

4. Finally, it’s time to delete your Facebook account 

The final step is to delete your account. To do so, visit this page and sign in. 

Facebook will give you a list of tasks and things to consider before deleting your account. For example, you’ll be advised to download all of your information, or if you’re the sole admin of a Facebook Page, you’ll be asked to grant another account admin privileges. Otherwise, the page will be deleted alongside your account. 

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All right, you ready? Click Delete Account, enter your password and click Continue. Finally, click Delete Account again and you’re done.

delete-facebook-account

Read through Facebook’s final advice before deleting your account. 


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

5. You have 30 days to change your mind about Facebook

Facebook will take up to 90 days to delete all of your account data from its servers. For the first 30 days of that, you can still sign in and cancel your deletion request. Your account will be restored and it’ll be like you never left. For better or worse.

To cancel your deletion request, visit Facebook.com, log in to your account, and click the Cancel Deletion button.

And if you need any help with the emotional side of the breakup, here are some more tips to ease the pain of Facebook separation.

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Updating Special Ad Audiences for housing, employment, and credit advertisers

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On June 21, 2022 we announced an important settlement with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will change the way we deliver housing ads to people residing in the US. Specifically, we are building into our ads system a method designed to make sure the audience that ends up seeing a housing ad more closely reflects the eligible targeted audience for that ad.

As part of this agreement, we will also be sunsetting Special Ad Audiences, a tool that lets advertisers expand their audiences for ad sets related to housing. We are choosing to sunset this for employment and credit ads as well. In 2019, in addition to eliminating certain targeting options for housing, employment and credit ads, we introduced Special Ad Audiences as an alternative to Lookalike Audiences. But the field of fairness in machine learning is a dynamic and evolving one, and Special Ad Audiences was an early way to address concerns. Now, our focus will move to new approaches to improve fairness, including the method previously announced.

What’s happening: We’re removing the ability to create Special Ad Audiences via Ads Manager beginning on August 25, 2022.

Beginning October 12th, 2022, we will pause any remaining ad sets that contain Special Ad Audiences. These ad sets may be restarted once advertisers have removed any and all Special Ad Audiences from those ad sets. We are providing a two month window between preventing new Special Ad Audiences and pausing existing Special Ad Audiences to enable advertisers the time to adjust budgets and strategies as needed.

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For more details, please visit our Newsroom post.

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Impact to Advertisers using Marketing API on September 13, 2022

For advertisers and partners using the API listed below, the blocking of new Special Ad Audience creation will present a breaking change on all versions. Beginning August 15, 2022, developers can start to implement the code changes, and will have until September 13, 2022, when the non-versioning change occurs and prior values are deprecated. Refer below to the list of impacted endpoints related to this deprecation:

For reading audience:

  • endpoint gr:get:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field operation_status

For adset creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/adsets
  • field subtype

For adset editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdCampaign
  • field subtype

For custom audience creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field subtype

For custom audience editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:CustomAudience

Please refer to the developer documentation for further details to support code implementation.

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Introducing an Update to the Data Protection Assessment

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Over the coming year, some apps with access to certain types of user data on our platforms will be required to complete the annual Data Protection Assessment. We have made a number of improvements to this process since our launch last year, when we introduced our first iteration of the assessment.

The updated Data Protection Assessment will include a new developer experience that is enhanced through streamlined communications, direct support, and clear status updates. Today, we’re sharing what you can expect from these new updates and how you can best prepare for completing this important privacy requirement if your app is within scope.

If your app is in scope for the Data Protection Assessment, and you’re an app admin, you’ll receive an email and a message in your app’s Alert Inbox when it’s time to complete the annual assessment. You and your team of experts will then have 60 calendar days to complete the assessment. We’ve built a new platform that enhances the user experience of completing the Data Protection Assessment. These updates to the platform are based on learnings over the past year from our partnership with the developer community. When completing the assessment, you can expect:

  • Streamlined communication: All communications and required actions will be through the My Apps page. You’ll be notified of pending communications requiring your response via your Alerts Inbox, email, and notifications in the My Apps page.

    Note: Other programs may still communicate with you through the App Contact Email.

  • Available support: Ability to engage with Meta teams via the Support tool to seek clarification on the questions within the Data Protection Assessment prior to submission and help with any requests for more info, or to resolve violations.

    Note: To access this feature, you will need to add the app and app admins to your Business Manager. Please refer to those links for step-by-step guides.

  • Clear status updates: Easy to understand status and timeline indicators throughout the process in the App Dashboard, App Settings, and My Apps page.
  • Straightforward reviewer follow-ups: Streamlined experience for any follow-ups from our reviewers, all via developers.facebook.com.

We’ve included a brief video that provides a walkthrough of the experience you’ll have with the Data Protection Assessment:

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The Data Protection Assessment elevates the importance of data security and helps gain the trust of the billions of people who use our products and services around the world. That’s why we are committed to providing a seamless experience for our partners as you complete this important privacy requirement.

Here is what you can do now to prepare for the assessment:

  1. Make sure you are reachable: Update your developer or business account contact email and notification settings.
  2. Review the questions in the Data Protection Assessment and engage with your teams on how best to answer these questions. You may have to enlist the help of your legal and information security points of contact to answer some parts of the assessment.
  3. Review Meta Platform Terms and our Developer Policies.

We know that when people choose to share their data, we’re able to work with the developer community to safely deliver rich and relevant experiences that create value for people and businesses. It’s a privilege we share when people grant us access to their data, and it’s imperative that we protect that data in order to maintain and build upon their trust. This is why the Data Protection Assessment focuses on data use, data sharing and data security.

Data privacy is challenging and complex, and we’re dedicated to continuously improving the processes to safeguard user privacy on our platform. Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to build a safer, more sustainable platform.

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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