Social media and technology platforms, such as Facebook and Google, collect huge amounts of data about their users. This is especially worrying when such data may fall into the wrong hands, such as the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
As public outrage increases, Facebook claims to take steps to avoid such a thing in the future. CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress and the chief executive says the platform will be the amount of data that third parties can use for the future.
How to view your Facebook data
Fortunately, Facebook has a simple function that lets you download all the data collected about you. It's called "My File" and it's pretty easy to use.
- Access Facebook in the web browser of your choice.
- click on the Menu icon in the upper right corner of the page. This should look like a small down arrow.
- Click Settings
- From there you should be greeted with a General Account Settings menu. Somewhere in the middle of the page you would have a copy of it your Facebook data. Click here.
- Do you want to hit? Start my file. Facebook will ask you to authenticate with your password.
Facebook now sends you an email with additional instructions and a link to download your files. Depending on the age of your account, this may take several hours.
In your file, you will find different folders and a series of documents in .htm format.
But it contains worrisome data …
What you could find
If you click on the file named "index.htm", you will be redirected to a file in your browser. You can find inside.
- Phone numbers, email addresses and other contact details for many or all of your friends.
- Restaurants, shops, airports and other places that you "registered" via Facebook
- The IP address of each device and network you used to connect to the platform.
- Your account history In short, every time you've closed your account and reactivated.
- Your active sessions – when you are logged in and actively use Facebook.
- Your face recognition data, based on all the selfies and profile photos you submitted.
- Also note that Facebook also monitors your search history, posts you like, and other random data on your platform, but they are not in your file. You can find this information in the activity log.
Make sure you're signed in to Facebook, click on your own profile and click on "View activity log".
See your & # 39; Ad Preferences & # 39;
While your archive contains information about your advertising preferences and the advertisers you've worked with, you will not receive the full story. For this, you need to access your advertising preferences.
- click on the menu icon (down arrow).
- Click settings.
- Click Ads menu in the left sidebar.
From there, you get to your advertising preferences – in fact, the data that Facebook uses to show targeted ads. And there are some interesting and scary things you can find here.
For example, under Your information and your categories, you will see different assumptions made by Facebook algorithms about you.
You may find that you have guessed your interests, your approximate political and religious opinions, and other categories, for example, whether you are a regular traveler or a small entrepreneur. Curiously, there is also a "multicultural affinity" – such as African American or Hispanic – that the platform may have marked you with.