Download Your Facebook Data

Unless you’ve been living under a social media rock for the past couple of months, you’ve probably noticed that Facebook has been in the news a lot, and has been embroiled in some recent controversies.

Privacy issues have always been a concern when it comes to Facebook, and the recent news of the Cambridge Analytica data collection scandal has prompted more intense scrutiny into exactly what data is being collected by Facebook and the many apps that people use.

What Data Does Facebook Have On You?

In response to the queries, Facebook has made it possible for you to download an archive of all the information the social media platform has (or admits to having) collected about you.

If you want to find out what they’ve got on you, follow these steps:

  1. Log into Facebook.
  2. From the home page, click the drop-down in the extreme right hand side of the top blue bar.
  3. Click the “Settings” option.
  4. Below the last option, “Manage Account,” there should be an option to “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” Click that.
  5. On the “Download My Information” page, click the option named “Start My Archive.”
  6. You’ll be asked for your password again.
  7. You’ll now get an email to the address you use to login to Facebook, with the subject line “Facebook Download Requested” telling you that they will notify you as soon as it’s ready.
  8. Once Facebook has collated your data, a Facebook notification will alert you that the download is ready. Click on the notification and it will take you back to the “Download Your Information” page.
  9. The green box will now read “Download Archive.” Click it to begin the download.
  10. The download will be presented in the form of a .zip file. Windows, Linux and MacOS can open this format by default.

Once you download and open the zip, you’ll find copies of everything you every uploaded to Facebook, every log-in and every other action you’ve taken.

One Problem

From what we’ve seen, something that this doesn’t include is a list of everything you’ve ever clicked “like” on. And the fact is, this is one of the most important data sets that Facebook has.  Based on your likes in the past, Facebook can make eerily accurate predictions about you, including your sexual orientation, relationship status and more.

But they don’t seem to be telling us about that.