You probably didn’t know this, but some of your data continues to be stored on Facebook’s database even after you delete your account. Yes, your contact details may stick around or may even get uploaded when someone else syncs their contacts. That obviously is not great for user privacy.
Thankfully, the Meta-owned company offers a secret tool that lets users delete personal data like phone numbers and emails from its database. Available since May 2022, the tool happens to be buried deep in Facebook’s support pages, under a section pertaining to people who don’t use Meta products. In this article, we’ve listed down the steps you need to follow to perform a deletion, so that you don’t have to go digging around.
How to check if Facebook has got your contact details and remove them
1. The first thing you’d need to do is head over to the page for Facebook’s contact removal tool.
2. Here you’ll be asked to look up your “Mobile number”, “Landline phone number” or “Email address”.
3. Once the selection’s been made, hit “Next.”
4. Input your phone and select where you’d like Meta to search for your number — Facebook or Instagram.
5. Tapping next will automatically send an OTP to the phone number you previously entered. Enter this OTP into the field that shows up.
6. If your number’s found, Facebook will present an option that will delete and block it. Hit “Confirm” to proceed.
7. You may then repeat the process and input different phone numbers or email addresses to check if Facebook has sneakily stored them as well.
The option that “blocks” your contact is a little ambiguous. Does that mean Facebook still stores it in its blocklist so that it can detect and prevent any re-uploads? Seems likely. Sadly it seems there’s no workaround for this bonus problem right now.