2018 has been really bad for Facebook in terms of privacy lawsuits, and data-stealing allegations surrounding the company. As #DeleteFacebook took rounds on Twitter in the late months of last year, there is another news to add fuel to the fire. According to a report by Bloomberg, Samsung phone users, are unable to delete the Facebook app on their smartphones.
Apparently, Nick Winke, a photographer in the Pacific Northwest tried to delete the Facebook app from his Samsung Galaxy S8. He soon found out it was undeletable. He found only an option to “disable,” and he wasn’t sure what that meant. This is alarming, because if an application is a permanent feature of a user’s device, can it track user’s digital actions? This has also raised concerns about whether Samsung is monetizing hardware outside of margins through data exploitation by partnering with Facebook.
After the news broke out, a lot of people have expressed their concerns on Social media platforms.
"[Facebook] said whether the app is deletable or not depends on various pre-install deals Facebook has made with phone manufacturers, operating systems and mobile operators around the world over the years" https://t.co/DFL7WgnHpp
— Natasha (@riptari) January 9, 2019
Reminds me of @waltmossberg's 2007 #craplets post on PC bloatware (https://t.co/bQigDLxwxb). #Smartphone is new PC, but w/more terrifying #privacy #cybersecurity stakes. Perfect example of ignoring the past, taking us into more dangerous terrain: https://t.co/icjhRmWU3Z https://t.co/Xz8IYvcEbw
— Tom Resau (@TomResau) January 9, 2019
Every time I consider getting an #Android phone, something like this pops up, reminding me that Android is a blazing garbage nightmare fire and I’m better off on #iOS despite the hardware cost. https://t.co/3mCt8emdgX
— Jason, RN (@PressXtoJason_) January 9, 2019
A Twitter user also expressed concerns over buying a Samsung smartphone.
— A Pirate Monk (@APirateMonk) January 9, 2019
François Chollet, the author of Keras has termed Facebook as “Phillip Morris combined with Lockheed Martin, but bigger.”
Everything Facebook does, big or small, reflects a complete lack of ethics and an intent to game their way into maximum profits no matter the damage inflicted on the world.
Facebook is Phillip Morris combined with Lockheed Martin, but bigger.https://t.co/NkbXmT1lqQ
— François Chollet (@fchollet) January 9, 2019
A Facebook spokesperson has told Bloomberg, that the disabled app doesn’t collect data or send information back to Facebook. They have specified that an app being deletable or not depends on various pre-install deals Facebook has made with phone manufacturers, operating systems and mobile operator. However, they denied specifying exactly how many such pre-install deals Facebook has globally. Samsung also told Bloomberg that they have pre-installed Facebook app on “selected models” with options to disable it, specifying that a disabled app is no longer running.