How to download your data from Facebook - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

How to download your data from Facebook

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KHQ.com -

You've probably heard a lot lately about Facebook and privacy. 

What does Facebook know about you? The answer is a lot. 

Facebook stores every interaction you've ever had since you joined and it's not just your friends either. Logins, ads you've clicked, credit card numbers you've stored, conversations you've had in messages, pictures you've posted, pictures you've been tagged in, and of course, every mundane status update you've ever felt the need to share with the world.

Side note: Remember when your status updates always began with "Is fill in the blank with some random activity"? 

Ah, the good old days. Let's collectively decide to bring that back, deal? Deal. Ok, moving on. 

Back to find out exactly what Facebook knows about you. It's actually pretty simple to download all of the data Facebook has on you because they give you that option. 

All you have to do is:

1.) Click on the little arrow in the upper right hand corner of your screen.  

2.) Click settings at the bottom of the drop down menu. 

3.) At the bottom, you'll see a link to "Download a copy of your Facebook data.*

4.) Click on that link, and wait a few minutes. Then check the email account associated with your Facebook account. 

It could take a couple of minutes, depending on how long you've been on Facebook and how active you are, but once it's complete you'll receive an email with a zip file that will have your entire archive. Simply download that. 

I downloaded mine and found chat conversations, photos, and the always embarrassing old status updates. This process can be revealing. I've been on Facebook since 2009 and certainly found some gems. I apparently once saw Damon Wayans and didn't have the guts to go talk to him. That was just the tip of the iceberg and a great reminder that Facebook has been tracking every thing I've ever done on social media for nearly a decade. 

Why does Facebook want this information? It's pretty simple, really. It helps them learn more about you and what you like to show you ads that are relevant to you. Facebook is free (for now) and they need to make money somehow, and as of right now that revenue comes from ads. 

Mark Zuckerberg said it himself to congress this month: "No one likes ads" but Facebook tries show you ads that you're more likely to enjoy. 

You might think that after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, that Facebook would cut back on giving your information to third party advertisers, however, that might not be the case. 

According to this report, Facebook is promoting a "loyalty prediction" ad service tool that will build ad campaigns based on your past behavior and what it thinks you'll want in the future.

But, under new privacy settings, you can go back in time to review things you've liked, shared, commented on, or are tagged in. You've always had this ability, but it's now easier to go back years and untag yourself from posts you might have missed when they were originally posted. Under that same settings tab, just click privacy and play around with it. It's all pretty intuitive. 

The bottom line is be selective on what information you share in the future, because what happens on the internet, stays on the internet. Believe me, I know. I found way too many photos of a younger Cory sporting puka shell necklaces. 

if you're planning on leaving Facebook, and many at least say they are, you can at least now download your history and take it all with you. And store it like we used to store memories - in a shoe box under your bed. 

By the way, speaking of Facebook, here's a shameless plug for you: Go like my Facebook page!

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