Many, many guides to digital privacy will tell you that the single best way to reclaim a significant chunk of your privacy from prying corporate (and probably government) eyes is to delete your Facebook account. That’s solid advice. Facebook is hugely intrusive and highly untrustworthy.
However, there is a problem with deleting your Facebook account. You’re just not going to do that, are you? Facebook is too useful. Facebook keeps you in touch with family and friends, reminds you of their birthdays, gives you news and entertainment.
Like Google, Facebook does provide some tools to help you maximise your privacy. You should get familiar with these if you’re not already. The Mozilla guide linked below is a great place to start.
Like Google, Facebook makes money by building a detailed profile of you based on your interests and activity and then charging advertisers for the privilege of showing you ads. It is in Facebook’s interest to find out more and more about you. The more detail about you they can provide to advertisers the more they can charge for their ads. Don’t forget that.
If you’d like an incomplete guide to what information Facebook gathers about you, we highly recommend ‘What should you think about when using Facebook?’ by Vicki Boykis. As she puts it in her introduction, “It’s very hard to opt out, but by reading about what they collect, you can understand the risks of the platform and choose to be more restrictive with your Facebook usage.”
+ ‘The Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy Settings’, techlicious.com
+ ’98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you’, Washington Post
+ ‘What Facebook Knows About You’, ProPublica