Facebook stores almost every single interaction you’ve had with the social network since you joined, including every time you’ve logged in, ads you’ve clicked, events you’ve been invited to, a list of the people you follow, your friends, your hometown, every time you’ve sent or received a message, every single status update and more.
It’s basically the history of everything you’ve done on Facebook. It’s also the data that Facebook can use to learn more about you. But this information can easily be used not only for targeted ads, but also to sway your vote, as we learned from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In response to public outrage, Facebook provided directions on how to download the information the company has collected about you.
How to Download Your Information From Facebook.
You can download your information from your settings. To download your information:
- Click “arrow” at the top right of any Facebook page and select Settings
- Click Download a copy of your Facebook data at the bottom of General Account Settings
- Click Start My Archive
Because this download contains your profile information, you should keep it secure and be careful when storing, sending or uploading it to any other services. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can make a data access request.
How Facebook Ensures Security of Your Information.
When you download your information, Facebook requires you to confirm your identity before you can start the process.
Once your download is ready, Facebook will send an email to the email address listed on your account along with a link to your download. For security purposes, the link will expire in a few days, after which you’ll have to reinitiate the download process. Before you can download the file containing your data, you’ll have to enter your password. If you’re using a public computer or one you don’t use regularly, you may also have to solve a friend photo captcha or an SMS captcha via your mobile phone.
What Is Included In Your Download.
Facebook stores different categories of data for different time periods, so you may not find all of your data since you joined Facebook. You will not find information or content that you have deleted because this is deleted from Facebook servers.
Most of your Facebook data is available to you simply by logging into your account. Also note that the categories of data that Facebook receives, collects, and saves may change over time.
|What info is available?||What is it?||Where can I find it?|
|About Me||Information you added to the About section of your Timeline like relationships, work, education, where you live and more. It includes any updates or changes you made in the past and what is currently in the About section of your Timeline.||Activity Log
|Account Status History||The dates when your account was reactivated, deactivated, disabled or deleted.||Downloaded Info|
|Active Sessions||All stored active sessions, including date, time, device, IP address, machine cookie and browser information.||Downloaded Info|
|Ads Clicked||Dates, times and titles of ads clicked (limited retention period).||Downloaded Info|
|Address||Your current address or any past addresses you had on your account.||Downloaded Info|
|Ad Topics||A list of topics that you may be targeted against based on your stated likes, interests and other data you put in your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Alternate Name||Any alternate names you have on your account (ex: a maiden name or a nickname).||Downloaded Info|
|Apps||All of the apps you have added.||Downloaded Info|
|Birthday Visibility||How your birthday appears on your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Chat||A history of the conversations you’ve had on Facebook Chat (a complete history is available directly from your messages inbox).||Downloaded Info|
|Check-ins||The places you’ve checked into.||Activity Log
|Connections||The people who have liked your Page or Place, RSVPed to your event, installed your app or checked in to your advertised place within 24 hours of viewing or clicking on an ad or Sponsored Story.||Activity Log|
|Credit Cards||If you make purchases on Facebook (ex: in apps) and have given Facebook your credit card number.||Account Settings|
|Currency||Your preferred currency on Facebook. If you use Facebook Payments, this will be used to display prices and charge your credit cards.||Downloaded Info|
|Current City||The city you added to the About section of your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Date of Birth||The date you added to Birthday in the About section of your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Deleted Friends||People you’ve removed as friends.||Downloaded Info|
|Education||Any information you added to Education field in the About section of your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Emails||Email addresses added to your account (even those you may have removed).||Downloaded Info|
|Events||Events you’ve joined or been invited to.||Activity Log
|Facial Recognition Data||A unique number based on a comparison of the photos you’re tagged in. We use this data to help others tag you in photos.||Downloaded Info|
|Family||Friends you’ve indicated are family members.||Downloaded Info|
|Favorite Quotes||Information you’ve added to the Favorite Quotes section of the About section of your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Followers||A list of people who follow you.||Downloaded Info|
|Following||A list of people you follow.||Activity Log|
|Friend Requests||Pending sent and received friend requests.||Downloaded Info|
|Friends||A list of your friends.||Downloaded Info|
|Gender||The gender you added to the About section of your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Groups||A list of groups you belong to on Facebook.||Downloaded Info|
|Hidden from News Feed||Any friends, apps or pages you’ve hidden from your News Feed.||Downloaded Info|
|Hometown||The place you added to hometown in the About section of your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|IP Addresses||A list of IP addresses where you’ve logged into your Facebook account (won’t include all historical IP addresses as they are deleted according to a retention schedule).||Downloaded Info|
|Last Location||The last location associated with an update.||Activity Log|
|Likes on Others’ Posts||Posts, photos or other content you’ve liked.||Activity Log|
|Likes on Your Posts from others||Likes on your own posts, photos or other content.||Activity Log|
|Likes on Other Sites||Likes you’ve made on sites off of Facebook.||Activity Log|
|Linked Accounts||A list of the accounts you’ve linked to your Facebook account||Account Settings|
|Locale||The language you’ve selected to use Facebook in.||Downloaded Info|
|Logins||IP address, date and time associated with logins to your Facebook account.||Downloaded Info|
|Logouts||IP address, date and time associated with logouts from your Facebook account.||Downloaded Info|
|Messages||Messages you’ve sent and received on Facebook. Note, if you’ve deleted a message it won’t be included in your download as it has been deleted from your account.||Downloaded Info|
|Name||The name on your Facebook account.||Downloaded Info|
|Name Changes||Any changes you’ve made to the original name you used when you signed up for Facebook.||Downloaded Info|
|Networks||Networks (affiliations with schools or workplaces) that you belong to on Facebook.||Downloaded Info|
|Notes||Any notes you’ve written and published to your account.||Activity Log|
|Notification Settings||A list of all your notification preferences and whether you have email and text enabled or disabled for each.||Downloaded Info|
|Pages You Admin||A list of pages you admin.||Downloaded Info|
|Pending Friend Requests||Pending sent and received friend requests.||Downloaded Info|
|Phone Numbers||Mobile phone numbers you’ve added to your account, including verified mobile numbers you’ve added for security purposes.||Downloaded Info|
|Photos||Photos you’ve uploaded to your account.||Downloaded Info|
|Photos Metadata||Any metadata that is transmitted with your uploaded photos.||Downloaded Info|
|Physical Tokens||Badges you’ve added to your account.||Downloaded Info|
|Pokes||A list of who’s poked you and who you’ve poked. Poke content from our mobile poke app is not included because it’s only available for a brief period of time. After the recipient has viewed the content it’s permanently deleted from our systems.||Downloaded Info|
|Political Views||Any information you added to Political Views in the About section of Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Posts by You||Anything you posted to your own Timeline, like photos, videos and status updates.||Activity Log|
|Posts by Others||Anything posted to your Timeline by someone else, like wall posts or links shared on your Timeline by friends.||Activity Log
|Posts to Others||Anything you posted to someone else’s Timeline, like photos, videos and status updates.||Activity Log|
|Privacy Settings||Your privacy settings.||Privacy SettingsDownloaded Info|
|Recent Activities||Actions you’ve taken and interactions you’ve recently had.||Activity Log
|Registration Date||The date you joined Facebook.||Activity Log
|Religious Views||The current information you added to Religious Views in the About section of your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Removed Friends||People you’ve removed as friends.||Activity Log
|Screen Names||The screen names you’ve added to your account, and the service they’re associated with. You can also see if they’re hidden or visible on your account.||Downloaded Info|
|Searches||Searches you’ve made on Facebook.||Activity Log|
|Shares||Content (ex: a news article) you’ve shared with others on Facebook using the Share button or link.||Activity Log|
|Spoken Languages||The languages you added to Spoken Languages in the Aboutsection of your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Status Updates||Any status updates you’ve posted.||Activity Log
|Work||Any current information you’ve added to Work in the About section of your Timeline.||Downloaded Info|
|Vanity URL||Your Facebook URL (ex: username or vanity for your account).||Visible in your Timeline URL|
|Videos||Videos you’ve posted to your Timeline.||Activity Log
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