Let the Facebook app go
The first thing that you can do to protect your data and limit the collection of it by Facebook is to delete the app from your mobile device. The mobile app version sent to the App Store and Play Store is riddled with bloat and trackers. Much of this can be negated by going to facebook.com in your mobile browser. Much of the mission of the mobile app has been to obfuscate webpages and try to abstract them into a specialized app space. This is truly not needed. The mobile version is at-par with the mobile app and you have the power to install an ad blocker that can cut back on a lot of the trackers and analyzers loaded with each page and sending further behavioral patterns back to Facebook.

Personally, long ago I deleted the Facebook app from my iPhone because of the feature bloat, persistent updates ranging over 150MB, the inconsistent user experience, it was often slower than the web version, and in recent times Facebook’s core features have been broken out over multiple apps: Facebook, Messenger, Pages, etc. Stop putting up with this bloat and clutter on your mobile phone to get to a web based social network already endowed with a competent mobile optimized website. This is true for many other websites that are mobile optimized and still push a mobile app download. There’s more power in the web browser than what the developers allow in the apps they published on the app stores.
Let me also add this: I pulled the plug on the app before the Protect VPN and the recent data scraping scandals to the Facebook’s business practices. Which I will go deeper into.


Depopulate your Facebook account
There is a recent proverb that has spread on the internet: “if you are getting something for free then you are the product.”

I cannot go on about Facebook and privacy without addressing the elephant in the room. We have turned over too much personal identifying information to this social platform. Everything disclosed to Facebook is packaged into a dossier that is sold to marketers for big bucks. The page likes, posts, pictures, etc. that we give up to Facebook for free are converted into money when sold as leads to sales elsewhere. This is a monster of our own making, designed to create a digital copy of ourselves and sell to us. This makes Facebook not a social media network but an advertising platform, like broadcast television funded by regular commercial breaks and free newspapers larded with pages of ads.

We have to realize how much power we have over Facebook and the best way to express it to depopulate your Facebook account. Remove your Likes from pages and products. There’s real power in knowing what media, products, brands (including personalities), etc. that you like. It throws Facebook off your scent when they attempt to use their sophisticated re-targeting tactics to sell and recommend you more media, products, and services based on the leads they sold other companies.


Wean yourself off
Facebook has been around for more than 10 years and has wriggled its way into much of we get confer information be it through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp (bought in 2014) or keep in touch, share, and organize on facebook.com and Instagram. The first steps you can take to protect yourself is to (repeat) delete the Facebook app from your phone and depopulate your account. The obvious next step for dealing with a company with negligent disregard for privacy time and time again is to wean yourself off their products and look for alternatives, or consider modifying your behavior.

Personally, I’ve reduced my Facebook usage over time. Limiting it mostly to conducting business networking and checking in on my more distant family’s pages and using Messenger. I don’t have to like any product pages or media personalities for me to meet those purposes. This could be replaced with LinkedIn, Meetup, and forums while any of a number of messaging platforms could replace Facebook’s.