Facebook is one of the most popular websites on the Internet and has been a global phenomenon for the two billion people that use the platform. This doesn’t mean that it has been smooth sailing for the tech giant, as over the past several years there have been a few major controversies concerning the privacy of user data and how Facebook works to secure it. Today, we’ll tell you how to get access to all the information Facebook has about you.
Facebook has gathered a lot of information about its users. From a person’s posts, to their like history, to the advertisers they engage with, the world’s most popular social network knows more about the average user than most of their family members do. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal--where third-party users had free reign of Facebook user information--Facebook vowed to offer more transparency, so they now allow users to view the information they have collected about them.
Here’s how to view this information on a computer, and a mobile app respectively. It is a pretty straightforward process.
On a desktop or laptop:
From the Facebook mobile app:
After you create your file, it takes about an hour before you are given a notification. If you’ve been with the social media site a long time, or if you are a heavy user, it may take longer. Most users that have been using Facebook for a while will end up with GBs worth of information.
Now that you have access to your report, click on Your Facebook Information:
Access Your Information - Facebook itemizes all of your information with Posts, Photos, and Location all available to be viewed. This still doesn’t tell you what Facebook knows about you outside of Facebook.
Activity Log - This page is basically a timeline recap, which is great if you are looking to relive any old moments.
Deactivation and Deletion - Facebook users looking for a way out have complained that deleting their account is extremely difficult. Today, it’s not so difficult.
Once your file is viewable, you will be shocked at just how much information they know about you. They have the basic information, but beyond that they track and log your location, which can be disconcerting. You can pull up a date and learn just what you did that day. You may have forgotten, but Facebook hasn’t.
Then there are the Ads. Under this section you will be confronted with the laundry list of advertisers who have uploaded a contact list with your information. These advertisers already had your information, and they use Facebook’s advertising space to target you.
You probably had a notion that Facebook had a bunch of your information, but how much information outside of your general profile makes you nervous when they are accused of major data breaches. What’s scarier is that the service is used by over a quarter of the world’s population.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of the information we will share about this social media giant. Check back for part two of our three-part blog series about Facebook privacy.