Facebook knows a lot about you. Now changes are coming that might make it easier to protect this information. Here’s what you need to know.
Finding Your Data
With Facebook under fire over its privacy policies, you might be wondering what type of personal information the social networking giant is keeping on you. Luckily, Facebook is now made it easier to find this information and to make changes. Be warned, however: you might not like what you find.
In a message posted today, March 28, Facebook explains “It’s Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find.” In doing so, the social networking giant promises to eliminate the number of screens you need to go through to make changes to your Facebook account.
Controls that are easier to find and use. We’ve redesigned our entire settings menu on mobile devices from top to bottom to make things easier to find. Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they’re now accessible from a single place. We’ve also cleaned up outdated settings so it’s clear what information can and can’t be shared with apps.
As part of the announcement, Facebook also promises to make it easier to download the data you’ve shared. There is already a way to do this, as you can read below.
What data does Facebook already have?
To access your Facebook data, be sure to log into your account via a web browser. Next, click on the down arrow at the top right of the main Facebook page and then select “Settings.”
From this screen, select “Privacy” on the left of the screen.
You’ll notice the following message on this page: “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” Click on this link.
On this screen, you’ll need to confirm that you want Facebook to issue a report showing your archived data. Once you do, Facebook will send you two emails. The first email will confirm your request; the second will include a link to your file to download.
Depending on the size of your file, this process could take a few minutes. Once you receive the second email, you should download the file sooner rather than later.
As Facebook explains:
You have to right click to the presets panel for new folder.
You recently requested a copy of your Facebook data. It’s now ready for you to download.
Because this download may contain private information, you should keep it secure and take precautions when storing or sending it, or uploading it to another service.
Click the link below to go directly to your download. If the link redirects you to your account settings page, simply click “Download a copy of your Facebook data” to get redirected to the file we’ve prepared.
Please note: For security reasons, you can only download the copy we’ve prepared for you within a few days of this email being sent. You’ll need to start the process again if you’re unable to access your download.
Your Information File
It took me hours to digest everything that's in my Facebook file. Nothing that I saw surprised me -- except that Facebook kept the information in the first place.
To say your Facebook file contains a lot of information would be an understatement. My file weighs nearly 800MB and honestly, I’m rarely using the service.
In this document, you’ll see a running history of your profile, contact information, timeline, photos, videos, friends, messages, pokes, events, security, ads, and applications.
For example, under Friends, you can see a listing of your current and former Facebook friends, including when they became your friend. Under Contacts, you’ll see a listing of all of your friends and how to reach them, either through email, text, or phone. Addresses are also listed, when available.
Like I said. it’s a lot of information.
What Can You Do With This Information?
It took me hours to digest everything that’s in my Facebook file. Nothing that I saw surprised me — except that Facebook kept the information in the first place.
Moving forward, I look forward to using Facebook’s new privacy tools. In the meantime, I’m visiting the Privacy Settings and Control page and making adjustments. Perhaps you should do the same.
We’re going to continue following this story and let you know more about the new Facebook pages once they become available.