Recently we have all have been reading about Facebook’s breach of trust. Even Mark Zuckerberg, admitted that Facebook has made mistakes.
The issue: Cambridge Analytica, a U.K.-based political data-analytics firm hired by the 2016 Trump campaign, got its hands on data for 50 million Facebook users — without the users’ knowledge or consent. At this point, it’s unclear whether the uproar over Cambridge Analytica will lead to new legislation or government regulations but in my circles, I have noticed a significant exodus of companies and users.
Before you make the jump to delete your account. Download a copy of your Facebook data.
The following steps should help:
- Go to Facebook.com > Settings > General Account Settings
- Click “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”
- Click “Download Archive.”
- It takes a short period of time for Facebook to generate an archive of your data.
You will be alerted when the archive is ready.
- Once notified of its completion, click “Download Archive”, and a zip file will download to your computer.
- Browse through that archive by opening each file inside the folder.
In the archive, you’ll find your entire history on facebook including messages. In doing so, it’s clear how much Facebook knows about you.
Examples of what you will find
- The index also contains information about every Event invite you got, every Poke and Message you’ve sent or received (even if you are not Facebook friends with the person, or if they are no longer on Facebook), any Facebook applications you installed (even if you don’t use them anymore), and any Facebook “Places” (locations) you may have created.
- Profile section, you will find some basic information about your profile including any profile names you have had in the past, all your contact info, any pages and interests you liked, groups you joined, and any Facebook pages you are a page administrator for.
- The Contact Info section contains all the contacts on your mobile phone.
- The Timeline section contains all your status updates and posts from friends on your timeline. The Photos and Videos sections contain photos and videos you posted; the former also contains code about your Facial Recognition info.
- The Friends section contains a list of all your Facebook friends along with the date you become friends. It also contains a list of friends you unfriended and when, friend requests you declined, a list of friend requests you sent that are pending being accepted, a list of people who “Follow” you by clicking the follow button on your profile, and anyone you are following.
- There’s also a Security section tracking IP addresses, devices and browsers you logged in from with dates and timestamps.
- The Ads section contains a list of Ad Topics you are being targeted for based on interests gleaned from Facebook pages you liked. There’s also a list of the recent ads you clicked on and any advertisers that have your contact information. You can find (and remove) additional ads and ad topics you are being targeted for by visiting: https://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences/.
2 replies on “Download a copy of your Facebook data”
Oh yeah, thank you for this information !
Great article. This is a good wake-up call for everyone to understand the cost of all these “free” services is at the expense of your personal privacy. I know, what you do on the internet isn’t that important and thus you don’t care if they know about you. Might be true, until data gets into the wrong hands and before you know it your journey through the WWW is being manipulated.
Google, Facebook, they know where you are, your tends, what you search for, what your communications are to your friends and family… it is powerful data, and can easily be misused.
I recently started using https://duckduckgo.com/ as my default search engine. They do not track your searches. Considering locking some other things down as well – but like everyone else, I like my free services 🙂