Curiosity is ingrained deep into human nature. It’s natural to get curious, to look for answers beyond the known, and to find solutions for unsolved problems. It doesn’t matter whether your questions are complex or trivial. And we all must appreciate curiosity, whatever the question. On that note, we understand that you are curious about some details about Facebook account deletion. And we know that you are asking this question just out of curiosity (aren’t you?). And since you want to know the answer, we are here to help.
If you (or anyone else) permanently delete your Facebook account, all your account-related data is removed from the platform’s publicly viewable database. Your account is wiped out completely from Facebook’s servers, or so it seems.
But then, you might have heard or read stories about how the police traced a criminal via the Facebook Account. Social media profiles are a common method the police resort to when tracking someone.
But what happens if you delete your Facebook account permanently? Can the police still track you? In other words, can the police track a deleted Facebook account? It’s time to discover the answer.
Can Police Track Deleted Facebook Account?
Alright. We’ll answer your question without any unnecessary information. After all, anything related to the police is a serious matter. And therefore, this is a serious question.
Yes. The police can track your account even if you have deleted it permanently. All they have to do is send a legal notice to the concerned officials at Facebook and demand all your account information.
If you think the officials at Facebook will reply to the police by saying, “We can’t provide the information as it has been deleted,” you are utterly mistaken.
On the other hand, Facebook will reply with something like, “Sure, please find the attached document containing the data you requested.”
“But,” you might be wondering, “if someone deletes their Facebook account, how can Facebook provide the information? Isn’t everything already deleted?”
Only if it was that simple!
While you delete your Facebook account and think everything is gone forever, Facebook has a silent laugh in the corner.
In this digital age, data is foremost. Data is everything. And platforms like Facebook know way better things to do with your data than deleting your data so easily.
But then, what happens to your account data after you delete your account? Read on to find out.
What happens to your data when you delete your Facebook account?
We are not saying Facebook can use your data for illegal purposes. The platform says it never sells user data to third parties (except Cambridge Analytica, it seems).
But it can surely use the data for several other purposes that might or might not have to do with your benefit. But before we get into that, let’s discuss what happens to your data once you confirm your account deletion on Facebook.
The account deletion process on Facebook: Explained
When you tap on the Delete my account button in your Account settings section and complete the steps leading to account deletion, your account doesn’t get deleted immediately.
In fact, nothing gets deleted at that time. Everything related to your account gets hidden from everyone, but nothing gets deleted.
Wondering why? Damage control. Facebook likes to give users a second chance if they change their minds after “deleting” their accounts. So, your account deletion is put on hold for 30 days, starting from the day you confirm the request. During this period, you can cancel the account deletion simply by logging back into your account.
Therefore, if the police want to track an account during this period, they can easily do that.
After these thirty days, the deletion process begins. Your account info, including your name, profile information, likes, comments, posts, and everything else, starts getting deleted.
But here is another catch. Due to some mysterious reasons, it might take up to 90 days to get all your data deleted from Facebook’s servers. We don’t know why it takes so long, but that’s what Facebook says.
But you know what? None of this matters if we are talking as far as the police are concerned. Here’s why.
Your data doesn’t get deleted:
After 90 days, none of your account-related information is available on Facebook. That means your profile and posts are wiped out from Facebook’s servers so that no one can see them anymore in any way.
But then, Facebook’s Help Center mentions something that contradicts the whole account deletion thing. The platform says that copies of your account information remain safe in “backup storage” even after 90 days! And then the platform can also keep your information for legal issues. You know what that means, right?
Therefore, the bottom line is this: Your account gets deleted for you and other Facebook users. But the police can still retrieve the info they want from Facebook. Your identity can easily be tracked even after account deletion.
What information can the police retrieve from Facebook regarding a deleted account?
In short, whatever is enough to disclose the user’s identity.
Facebook is not explicit about what data it reserves for handling legal issues. But because they are storing a copy of your information in a separate backup storage, it’s safe to assume that much (or even all) of your information is stored safely for miscellaneous purposes.
Moreover, as much as Facebook says it cares about the users’ privacy, it is bound by the laws of your country or region. If your country requires every social media platform to keep each user’s account details for a specified amount of time, the platform needs to oblige to the rules to run in your country.
In other words, it means that as long as the police demand information that is under the law of the nation, your favorite social media app has to give the details without fail.
So, the moral of the story is this: If a person has done something wrong on Facebook and wishes to get away with it, they can’t.
Facebook cares about its users’ privacy. But it cares about the laws of the region first. And therefore, the platform needs to keep some information about the users even after the user deletes their account.
Therefore, even if someone deletes their account on Facebook, the police can track information related to the account without much issue. And there is nothing the user can do to avoid this except to take precautions.
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