Download Your Facebook Data
Facebook was in the news today because of some big concerns over privacy and what it does with your data. Coincidentally I requested an archive of all of my data last night to see what they had after I stumbled across a TechCrunch article about someone quitting the platform. It turns out that they had way more information that I’d ever imagine they’d have, and I’m convinced they’re still not sharing everything with people either.
The archive is a list of HTM (web page) files that you can open up in your browser and click through. It’s sort of like an offline version of Facebook with very little design and just links to different folders listing various bits of your data. You can see everything from photos, advertising information, security logs and even message histories too. The scary thing is, it is no way near complete in relation to everything they know about you. I’m confident that there is much more they’re not providing here, but giving just enough to show that they harvest large collections of data.
The data is super detailed, so much so, you can see a list of all your friends and when you accepted their request. A list of people who you declined to be friends with with the date of when you declined. You can even see when you deactivated your account and every single session you’ve made to the site, ever. The scary thing here though isn’t the actual data they have, it’s just the sheer amount they’ve collected and how it’s all interlinked with everything. There’s so much and you probably don’t realise but it’s really freaky.
I’m so happy I decided to leave social media.
The information that social media giants like Facebook and Twitter collect is scary because you probably wouldn’t suspect that they’d collect so much information. It turns out that they do, which is old news, but you won’t realise until it’s all in front of you that they’ll get everything and keep it. Who knows what for? I think that if you haven’t left social media yet but are thinking of it, now is probably as good a time as ever. Unless something bigger happens to the social media platform in the future.
If you want to download your data (you can do this on Twitter and potentially a few other social media sites too, although the steps will vary), go to Settings and then the General section and click to ‘download your data’. It takes roughly a couple of hours for it to be generated, then you should get an email with a link to download it.