With all the commotion going on this past couple of weeks about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica sharing and using our Data without our permission.
Well, it would be nice to know just what took place and how to stop Facebook from sharing our data with other companies. That is why I did a post about it and you can check it out here.
But what about finding out about what data Facebook has on us? It would be great to know, wouldn’t it?
I for one would like to know so I did some research on how to find your Facebook Data and low and behold it’s been accessible to us all this time and nobody ever thought to let us know.
All you have to do is log into your Facebook account and select Download a Copy of your Data, but first, let’s look at what kind of Data they have stored.
What kind of Data Facebook keeps track of?
- Posts, Photos, and Videos you have shared, and been tagged
- Your Messages and Chat conversations, and comments you left on others post.
- Info from your About section in your profile
- Activity log like the post you click on and adds to name a few.
- Add a whole lot more, like about 30 other topics.
As you can see there is quite a bit of information they have gathered, which when you think about it, it’s no wonder other companies would like to get a hold of it. They can use it to target you with adds that will pertain to your likes and dislikes.
Let’s start your Download!
First thing, log into your Facebook page and click on the down arrow which is located at the top of your page next to the “Question mark”. From there Click on “Settings”.
You will now be greeted with your “General Account Settings page” where at the bottom of that page is where you want to Click on “Download a copy of your Facebook data”.
Next thing on the pop-up box click on “Start My Archive”, you will then be asked to enter your password for verification that it is you that is requesting this information. We wouldn’t want anyone else to get a hold of this now, just like it has already been done.
Facebook will now tell you that your request is being processed and will take some time, and they will notify you by email when it’s ready. If you have been active on Facebook it is going to take a long time, up to a few hours or more, so don’t sit around waiting. ?
When your email arrives, you will want to click the link at the bottom of your email.
This will then take you to a page where you get to click on yet another button labeled “Download Archive” and enter your password once again (Facebooks wants to protect your data 🙂 ).
Now depending on how large your file is and your internet download speed is, well this could also take a while. As you can see this could be a whole day worth of time so prepare yourself.
Your File Has Been Downloaded, now what?
Your files are going to be a “Zip file”, why, well because a Zip file downloads a lot faster because it is in a compressed form. So, you are going to need to extract the files into another folder that where you will be able to view them, and it’s really simple. First thing, open your “File Explorer” and look for your file that you downloaded from Facebook, most likely in your “Documents folder”
right-click on it and select “Extract all” you will then be asked “where to extract to”, enter the location you want the file to be extracted to, most likely into another Document folder, or even in the same spot, it’s all to you.
Once your files have been extracted you will notice that you have four folders, (html, messages, photos, & videos) and an HTML index file, this is the one you are going to double-click, which will open an offline version of the files located in your Facebook in a new browser window. From here you can explore all the data that Facebook has collected from your time on their platform.
Be prepared to be shocked or at least overwhelmed at what you will find in these folders, it is defiantly an eye-opener. Ok, now let’s take a look at each category that you will see on the left side of your screen under your Profile Photo. There are 13 different sections starting with Profile.
- Profile: This contains everything you entered into your profile like The day you started facebook, emails, address, phone #, relationship, family, education, favorite athletes, movies watched, and so on.
- Contact Info: Here Facebook has pulled your contacts and phone # from your contact list in your cell phone. I had no idea this was here! And they list a “Call History” of your recent inbound and outbound calls. I have no idea as to how they got this, I mean, seriously why do they want this!
- Timeline: This is where you will see your activity on Facebook, from every post you have shared, the comments that were made, and events.
- Photos: This is where all your photos that you uploaded to Facebook are. Along with the comments. Now If you were a busy person this could be quite LOL ?
- Videos: The same thing as your photos, here you will see all your videos.
- Friends: Yep this is a list of all your friends along with “Sent friend Request, Received Friend Requests, Declined Friend Requests, Removed Friends, and Friend Peer Group”.
- Messages: This one contains all of your messages sent or received on Facebook sorted by the contacts name. You will even see your messages with people who have deleted their account.
- Pokes: Yep, all the pokes you or your friends did.
- Events: All the events you were invited to and will be list under “Attending, Maybe, Declined, No Reply”.
- Security: Well, this one is full of a collection of security-related stuff, which includes the IP address from which you logged in with, any time you updated your security info, and all the device you logged in from. This is an endless list, I never got to the bottom of it. ☹
- Ads: This is where you will find a list of all the ads Facebook thought you would be interested in along with “Ads History, and Advertisers” that got your contact information through Facebook.
- Places Created: Such as a Check-in Location on Facebook that you created.
- Applications: This is the one where all the Apps you signed into using your Facebook login information. If you have deleted them after reading my post on “How to Stop Facebook form sharing your Data” they won’t show up here, only the ones you still use.
We heard about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica sharing our Data, and later on found out how to prevent further sharing of this information. But what kind of information does Facebook have on us? You learned here how to obtain that information with several clicks of your mouse. And if you’re like me your stunned by the quantity of that Data. Well at least now we know just how much data they keep on our activities on their platform, and with that knowledge, we can be more vigilant about what not to share!.
So the question remains, will you share less now, or will you delete your account altogether?
So what are your thoughts on Facebook and the data they collect and keep on you, are you surprised as I was? Let us know by joining in on the conversation in the comment section below.