Nooo don't delete your account, how else are we supposed to invade your privacy and steal your data?

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Back in May, I went through the process of deleting my prescence from the internet in the form of 150+ accounts I signed up for over my time on this Earth. Culling the accounts allowed me to sort corporations into good, meh, or bad, depending on how long it took me to delete the accounts. The philosophy behind this is that the more a company actually cares about your privacy, the easier it is for you to find your rights and opt out if desired. The more evil a company is the longer they want to harvest your data, and thus the harder they make the process of deleting accounts.


Good

Thank you Hulu for having a big easy delete button and transparent privacy policy! And every other company that doesn't fall into the next couple of categories. Not that I support you guys, but thanks anyway.

Bad

Every company that required me to send an email to privacy@blah.com. The average person isn't going through that hassle, and thus they reap the good user freedoms for cash. Most of them also displayed banners on their websites that say "We care about your privacy!", but if you read the fine print, it says "But only in California". Suprisingly, most of the obscure small companies (like typing sites, cloud coding websites, etc) went here.

Horrible

The worst offenders by far are exactly who you think they are: Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc. Amazon in particular required you to call a service representative and sit through a painful conversation where they try to dissuade you (Jeff don't you have enough money already?). Facebook never actually deletes your account, it just sits there on your servers, and they make frequent backups. The way to get around this is manually removing all your friends and scrambling your information to mess with backups: of course, Facebook actively makes automating this process difficult. Then do this again, and again, until you're confident the backups are fried. Absolutely disgusting.

Google is suprisingly cooperative, but that's to keep up a pretense of being the "good guy" of the internet— more on this and "don't be evil" later.


On a similar vein, browsing the web without accounts is atrocious for sites like Reddit, Instagram, etc. So many features are locked for those who don't get the app or make an account, in other words, those who don't agree to being tracked all the time. Every website nowadays is pushing you to make a *free* account so they can invade your privacy without displaying an "accept our invasive cookies" page.

The web is falling into bloat and despair, and nobody sane really has an alternative. Those who resist are seen as privacy freaks who care way too much, and we really only do the bare minimum. If the only alternative to evil is extremism, what kind of dystopia do we live in?