Facebook data leaks scandal: Here’s how to download all your data from the site

The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data leaks scandal has once again raised privacy fears. Here's a look at how to get a complete archive of one's entire user data history from Facebook. 

Written by Shruti Dhapola | New Delhi | Updated: March 29, 2018 9:11:47 am

Facebook, Facebook data, Facebook download data, How to download Facebook data, Facebook data archive, Facebook data scandal Worried about Facebook? Here’s how to download all your Facebook data. (Source: AP)

The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data leaks scandal has once again raised privacy fears and questions around how big companies like Facebook and Google are storing user data. While #DeleteFacebook is being discussed extensively, for users there are ways of knowing exactly how much data companies like Facebook and Google are storing. Here’s a look at how to get a complete copy of all your data from Facebook.

How to download archive of all your Facebook data

Facebook has the option where users can download an archive of all their data from the social network. This includes all posts, photos, status updates, and all other data that Facebook has collected regarding the user. It has been confirmed that the Facebook Messenger Android app was collecting all phone log data, call log metadata for users who had given permission to the app. The Facebook Messenger Android app has an option, where it allows users to upload contacts to the app and also made it the default app for SMS on the phone. This permission on Android was used to scrape other data details from the phone log as well.

Read more: Worried about online privacy? Here’s all your data that Google keeps, and how to download

In order to download Facebook data go to Settings on the desktop version of the site. At the bottom of the General Account Settings page you will see an option called: “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” This is not so prominent and appears right below the settings in tiny text.

Facebook, Facebook data, Facebook download data, How to download Facebook data, Facebook data archive, Facebook data scandal In order to download Facebook data go to Settings on the desktop version of the site. At the bottom of the General Account Settings page you will see an option called: “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”

Click on this. Facebook will ask you to re-enter the password in order to confirm that the user identity before starting download of all the data. Once your identity has been confirmed, Facebook will prompt a message that the user data will take some time to be created. When the Zip file is ready, a notification will flash on your Facebook alerts, stating the data is ready to be downloaded. After you have downloaded the data, which will be in a zip file format, you can then start going through it.

Read more: Facebook takes out full page apology ad in US, UK newspapers after data leaks

So what sort of data should you expect from this Facebook archive?

Facebook, Facebook data, Facebook download data, How to download Facebook data, Facebook data archive, Facebook data scandal In order to download Facebook data go to Settings on the desktop version of the site.

Well, the list is rather long. It will will include information you added to the “About section” on the timeline from relationships to work to education to where you live, and more and any updates or changes you made. The information also includes the dates when an account was reactivated, deactivated, disabled or deleted, all store active sessions, which has date, time, device, IP address, machine cookie and browser information.

Also read: How Facebook data may build picture of voters’ minds

Even Ads clicked, the times, titles, etc are all shared as part of this downloaded information. The data also includes your chat history on Facebook and list of IP addresses from where a user has logged into their account.The list also mentions political and religious views in the list of information based on whether the user has shared this in their about section.

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