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    Posted January 17, 2013 by
    State College, Pennsylvania

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    Why I Am Deleting Facebook


    “Dear Facebook friends: I have decided to get rid of Facebook on January 31st. I am increasingly displeased with their changes that impact my privacy. I've enjoyed being in touch with you and having a delightful glimpse into each of your lives. If you would like to stay in touch, feel free to private message me by the end of the month for my email address. Best wishes to all!!”


    When a Facebook friend asked if I was certain that I could not get my desired privacy, I felt the need to further discuss. I feel it is debatable as to whether privacy is a possibility with Facebook, currently. However, with the recent unpleasantness on Facebook owned Instagram (the release of a privacy policy that clearly infringed upon privacy rights and then its subsequent policy retraction), and the new search function in beta testing called Graph Search (that appears to infringe upon copyright laws), I no longer feel comfortable with, nor trust Facebook as a company that will respect my privacy.


    As I looked further into the details of permanently deleting my account, I found that it is possible for me to download all of the information available on my timeline. As expected, I can download photos, profile information that includes my gender, political views, and religious affiliation, and lists of friends and family. Disturbingly (although truly not that much of a surprise), I can also download the dates, times, and titles of ads clicked, a list of topics I am targeted against based on my stated likes, interests, and other data from my timeline, credit cards if I have made purchases on Facebook in apps and have given Facebook my credit card number, recent IP addresses, likes I've made on sites off of Facebook, and much more.


    All things considered, I realize accessing Facebook is a balance of cost and benefits for each user. For me, I do not use Facebook much anyway. However, I do understand that for many, the benefits of Facebook outweigh the cost of the potential loss of privacy.

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