Facebook users around the world were left disillusioned by how the social media networked handled people’s personal data in the now infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s response to the harvesting of 50 million users’ private information left many questions unanswered, and many users still have no idea what information of theirs was leaked.
In light of this, Facebook has given everyone on the network a way to see all of the data the social media platform has on them in order to give people an idea of what information could have been disclosed. On Monday during Cheddar’s Morning Bell, Madison Malone Kircher, an associate editor at New York Magazine, explained how users can utilize this information to get a better picture of what’s going on under the hood.
“You can go in and start deleting your old message history,” says Kircher. “You can remove third party apps, like Farmville or SongPop and things you haven’t used in seven years. It gives you a nice physical list of things you’ve forgotten you connected to. It’s basically to give you a scope of the information [Facebook has complied].”
All you have to do to access this information is navigate the small arrow at the top right corner of your Facebook homepage and click “Settings,” which will take you to the “General Account Settings” menu. Towards the middle of this screen you’ll see a link that says “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” Tap that and you’ll be prompted through the rest of the process.
You’ll receive the data in an email and it will contain the types of ads presented to you, all of your message history, every app you’ve ever connected to Facebook, and much more. Kircher also said that this revealed the social network was gathering text and call data from certain users.
“Something else that’s come out of it is a discovery that Facebook had been tracking text messages and call logs from Android users, which is something people would not have known without downloading this data.”
While this doesn’t take back the huge amount of information that was leaked, it does shed some light on exactly what kind of data could have fallen into the hands of third party companies. A small consolation for the compromise of users’ privacy.