MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Facebook has taken a lot of heat over its privacy practices after Cambridge Analytica used the data of 50 million Facebook users collected without their permission.
It spawned the #DeleteFacebook hashtag with celebrities like Will Ferrell and Cher getting rid of their accounts.READ MORE: Sheriff: 1 In Custody, 1 At Large In Connection To 4 Minnesotans Found Dead In Wisconsin
But, if someone deletes Facebook, what happens to their digital privacy? Good Question.
“People who think deleting Facebook means you’re going back to the pre-digital age of privacy will be disappointed,” says Bill McGeveran, a privacy expert at the University of Minnesota Law School.
People can deactivate or delete their Facebook account. Deactivation is more like “taking a break” from Facebook, whereas deletion means your information is scrubbed from Facebook servers. Facebook says that deletion process can take up to 90 days.READ MORE: Mille Lacs Lake Ends 'Catch-And-Release Only' Walleye Fishing Season
“All of the data should go off Facebook servers and they won’t have it anymore,” says McGeveran. “But, the third-party apps that you connect with, they might still have it.”
Facebook began to limit how much data third-party apps could have access to in 2015. But, when a user agrees to the terms and conditions of the app, that app does have access to varying degrees of a user’s information. According to McGeveran, there is no legal obligation for those third-party apps to delete information.
Facebook is just one part of digital privacy. McGeveran says using google, geolocation, messaging or any number of other Internet applications will mean a person’s information is scattered all over the place.
McGeveran recommends people do a digital privacy check-up on Facebook to better control who has access to their information. He says he’s not quitting Facebook because he finds it’s too valuable, but he does not use third-party apps with it and is careful about what he posts.MORE NEWS: Minnesota Weather: Drought Conditions Holding In Place As State Moves Into Fall
To download a report of a user’s Facebook data, go to Facebook settings, then click on download a copy of your Facebook data.