How to See All the Data Facebook Has on You (and what it thinks of you)
Facebook is under fire for its data privacy practices. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opened an official investigation. Facebook shares are down since the news of the Cambridge Analytica data controversy broke. Price dropped from a high of $185.09 on March 16 to a close at $152.22 today. This is a result of the investigation and controversy surrounding the social media giant.
Did you know you can download extensive, and by extensive, I mean really detailed information that Facebook is tracking you with? It is amazing and disturbing. Obviously, Facebook needs to save your posts, photos, and images so you can share the stuff you want with friends. But other data maintained about its users is quite detailed and makes you wonder exactly what they are doing with it all!
Although your Facebook profile data is available by logging into your account and surfing your own user profile, it is not in a neat and easy to digest format. This includes a lot of the same information available to you in your account and activity log, including your Timeline info, posts you have shared, messages, photos and more. The profile data download includes information that is not available by logging into your Facebook account. The Facebook profile download includes more information like the ads a user has clicked on, the IP addresses recorded when the users logs into or out of Facebook, and more!
I wrote this article while waiting for my profile, it took seven minutes for Facebook to prepare my data file. The file is 371 MG in size. The zip file contained every photo, video, and message I ever posted on Facebook. The file also contained every event I ever attended and checked in in at, every page I have likes, the identity of all pages I’m the admin for. There is also information on the IP addresses, the dates I access the app from those IP addresses, the browsers I used, and the identity of the cookie set on my device.
The file also contains the title and date of every ad I clicked on. In addition, it showed me every advertiser that has my contact information.
What about the categories of Facebook user data?
There are categories of Facebook data available to you either in your activity log or your downloaded data, or in both places. The span everything from your family, to credit card information, to behaviors. Find an explanation of the categories Facebook has you grouped into here.
To download a copy of your Facebook profile:
- Go to your Facebook home page
- Click settings in the top right corner
- Scroll download a copy of your Facebook Data
It takes a few minutes to download the data. You will get a notification when the download is ready. Facebook users will also receive an email to the associated account when the file is ready.
What’s included in the Facebook profile download?
- Posts, photos and videos you’ve shared
- Your messages and chat conversations
- Info from the About section of your profile
- Wall posts, messages to and from others
- Tracking information
Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers