Following the internet-shaking news that Cambridge Analytica “harvested” the data of 50 million Facebook users, many users of the social network are now considering deleting their accounts.
Upping sticks from Mark Zuckerburg’s digital kingdom isn’t as simple as it sounds though, unfortunately, due to the social media giant’s far-reaching influence on other websites.
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 arduous process of filling out a form. There’s no need to remember a new password – simply click log in with Facebook every time you want to use a certain app.
However, if one wants to delete their 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 connected to Facebook and finding 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 is too late.