Not on Facebook anymore? Well maybe you used to be on the social network but deleted your account long ago. Heck, maybe you never joined Facebook and never even gave Mark Zuckerberg your phone number or email address.
Guess? Facebook most likely has your contact details after all! But do not worry. We’ve got you covered. Facebook’s parent company Meta actually has a ‘secret tool’, first noticed by Business Insiderthat allows you to request deletion of personal information, such as your phone number or email address.
If you downloaded a dud app, it may have stolen your Facebook password
And when we say secret, we mean too secret. It’s hidden deep in Facebook’s help pages, buried under hundreds of words in an article titled “Information for People Who Don’t Use Meta Products.”
“click here if you have a question about the rights you may have,” is the sentence the tool is linked to.
Once you click the linkyou will be taken to the contact delete tool.
If you were wondering how Facebook got your contacts, it’s explained right on the page. Meta-products like Facebook and Instagram ask users to upload their phone’s contact information to connect them with friends and family who are already on those platforms. By doing this, Meta will then access and store all those phone numbers and email addresses. With billions of users around the world, chances are you’re in the market from someone contact list and they probably unknowingly provided your information to Facebook.
Now you can have it removed.
1. Choose the contact details you want to delete
Choose what type of contact information you are looking for.
The tool offers three options to search for: a mobile number, a landline number, and an email address.
2. Enter the contact details and choose the platform to search
After choosing one, just enter the phone number or email address and choose which platform you want Meta to search for it on: Facebook and Messenger or Instagram.
Enter your phone number. The email search also looks exactly the same.
3. Enter your confirmation code
Once you’ve entered your details, Meta will send a confirmation code to the phone number or email address you enter to make sure it’s your contact details and not someone else’s.
Enter the code Meta just sent you.
4. Confirm the removal request
After entering the code, Meta will ask you to click “confirm” if you want the information to be removed and never added again. Select this and that’s it! You will see a message that your request was successful. When you search for the same contact details in the tool again, Meta should tell you that it couldn’t be found.
Just click “Confirm” and you’re done!
As Business Insider points out, this is just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the data Facebook has about you. But if you’re not even a Facebook user, your phone number and email address are probably still a big part of that data. And even if you’re not concerned that Meta has your information, know that the company often shares it with third parties as well.
If you want to make sure companies like Meta have as little information about you as possible, take five minutes to have your contact information removed.