Nick Winke, a photographer in the Pacific northwest, was perusing internet forums when he came across a complaint that alarmed him: On certain Samsung Electronics Co. smartphones, users aren’t allowed to delete the Facebook app.
Winke bought his Samsung Galaxy S8 an Android-based device that comes with Facebook’s social network already installed, when it was introduced in 2017. He has used the Facebook app to connect with old friends and to share pictures of natural landscapes and his Siamese cat - but he didn’t want to be stuck with it. He tried to remove the program from his phone, but the chatter proved true - it was undeletable.
“It just absolutely baffles me that if I wanted to completely get rid of Facebook that it essentially would still be on my phone, which brings up more questions,” Winke said in an interview. “Can they still track your information, your location, or whatever else they do? We the consumer should have say in what we want and don’t want on our products.”
Well goyim, maybe you shouldn't be buying their shitty spy phones then? Maybe you should get a flip phone!
Consumers have become more alert about their digital rights and more vigilant about privacy in the past year, following revelations about Facebook’s information-sharing practices and regulators’ heightened scrutiny of online data collection. Some people have deleted their Facebook accounts in protest of the company’s lapses.
Facebook isn’t the only company whose apps show up on smartphones by default. A T-Mobile US Inc. list of apps built into its version of the Samsung Galaxy S9, for example, includes the social network as well as Amazon.com Inc. The phone also comes loaded with many Google apps such as YouTube, Google Play Music and Gmail; Google is the creator of the Android software that powers the phone. Other phone makers and service providers, including LG Electronics Inc., Sony Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., have made similar deals with app makers.
In December, Justin McMurry, whose Twitter handle is @BoutSebm, wrote that he considered Facebook a privacy threat. “If I can’t delete it, this will be the last Samsung product I ever own."