How to download a copy of your Facebook data

How to download a copy of your Facebook data

We all know that Facebook collects our personal data whenever we use its services, and they use it to improve and develop services including their advertising and measurement systems. The question now is, what are those and how much of our personal data have been collected? You can do that by downloading a copy of your data and here’s how you can do it: 

1. Log in to your Facebook account, preferably on Desktop.
2. Click on the down-pointing triangle ? at the top right of your page.
3. Choose Account Settings.
4. Click Download a copy of your Facebook data at the bottom of the page.

5. Click on Start My Archive.

Facebook will then start gathering your information and will send an e-mail associated with your account when it is ready for download. This may take a while depending on how much data you have on Facebook. Mine took almost an hour and gave me a link to a 3.4GB download. For security reasons, the link will only work for a few days after being sent.


What’s inside?

Well, there’s a lot, like the dates when your account was reactivated, activated, disabled or delete; the ads clicked; your current address or any past addresses you had on your account; topics that you may be targeted against based on your stated likes, interests, and other data you put in your Timeline; check-ins, credit cards if you’ve given Facebook your credit card number; people you’ve removed as friends; Facial Recognition data; searches you’ve made on Facebook; as well as chat history. However, Facebook says that you will not find information or content that you have deleted because this is deleted from Facebook servers.

You can click here to see all the categories of Facebook data that is available to you. You can also review Facebook’s Data Policy here.

What to do with it?

At 3.4GB, I was surprised by the amount of data I have provided Facebook for the past 8-9 years. It will take a while to go through the download but once you’ve found something that you think shouldn’t be there, you can go ahead and delete them or adjust your account settings to make it more secure or private.

Facebook recently announced that it will roll out new changes to its privacy shortcuts to provide better control in what could be shared and the apps that could gather your data. You can read all about it here.

This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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