Following the revelation that Cambridge Analytica “harvested” the data of 50 million Facebook users, many people are now considering deleting their accounts.
However, leaving Mark Zuckerburg’s digital kingdom isn’t as simple as it sounds, due to the social media giant’s far-reaching influence across the web.
Loss of access to other services
For many, our Facebook account acts as a passport of sorts for other popular services, such as Spotify, Netflix and Tinder.
Selecting “Log in with Facebook” when signing up to other services is an easy cop-out from the process of filling out a form. There’s no need to remember a new password when you can simply click ‘log in with Facebook’ every time you want to use a certain app.
However, if you want to delete your account, this creates headaches.
For example, if you deactivate your Facebook profile, and had previously logged in to Spotify Premium via the social media giant, you will be unable to retrieve your account. You will be required to make a new account, with a different email address.
Once signed up it may be possible to reassign your old email address to your new account if you reach out to the customer service team.
Your painstakingly curated Spotify playlists, however, may be lost for good.
The same issue applies to other services you may have signed up to via Facebook – your conversations and matches on Tinder will be lost, your Airbnb bookings will be cancelled and your Netflix subscription cancelled.
Tie up loose ends before deleting
That’s not to say you shouldn’t delete your Facebook account if you’re concerned by the company’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
However, for peace of mind, consider deactivating any paid-subscription accounts before you are locked out.
It is also worth contacting customer service teams at the various sites you use which are connected to Facebook to find out what you will lose as a result of deleting your social media account.
Finally, organise a date with any long-term Tinder matches before it’s too late.