Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Tech | By

Facebook can't be deleted on some Samsung phones

Facebook can't be deleted on some Samsung phones

The report adds that programers have been filing bug reports on developer platforms to notify that the Facebook SDK automatically shares data "before apps are able to ask users to agree or consent". T-Mobile also lists a host of Google apps pre-installed on the phone, including YouTube, Gmail and Chrome. It is a problem with nearly all phone companies, as they pre-install third-party apps that can not be removed by users.

It's unclear how many Samsung phone versions have Facebook preinstalled, or when Facebook and Samsung inked a deal to have Facebook on devices out of the box. "We the consumer should have [a] say in what we want and don't want on our products". This is not unique to the Facebook app, or even Samsung devices for that matter, but applies to nearly all pre-installed apps on many smartphones, including Galaxy devices.

Users can't delete these (except by hacking into their devices), and they can instead only be disabled and hidden.

Facebook isn't the only app to come preloaded on some phones made by Samsung, the world's biggest smartphone maker. These apps each have an install base from 10 to 500 million, and they include educational tool Duolingo, flight search engine Skyscanner, travel site Kayak and job database Indeed.


Not being allowed to uninstall the Facebook app is neither new nor surprising as the app comes/came pre-installed on many Galaxy smartphones in one form or the other. He first tried to delete the Facebook app when he was setting up the device. When Twitter's app is loaded on a new phone by default, it wouldn't collect any data unless a user had an account or created a new one, and opened the app and logged in, the company said.

Other companies including LG, Sony, Verizon, and AT&T have similar deals with app makers, the report notes. "Very slimy", Twitter user Gopinath Pandalai in Bangalore, who goes by @gopibella, wrote on the site in October. I was recently using the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the pre-installed Facebook, as well as Instagram apps, refused to work without updating to the latest version. Manufacturers say that if you don't want to use a pre-installed app, you can go to the app manager and disable them from the system.

Given the revelations about how the Facebook app tracks its users and harvests data, that might not be an acceptable compromise for a lot of users. If there's an event coming up on Facebook, he never marks that he's going or interested, even if he is, because he dislikes that his attendance will advertise the event to his other friends.

Samsung claims that such arrangements are made in order to provide "the best" experience to users. For his next phone, he said he'll consider buying something else.

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