This month I saw The Great Hack, a Netflix documentary film that revives the Cambridge Analytica scandal that put everything we thought we knew about the security of our data on the Internet in check.
We have already talked about tricks to improve your privacy, how you can get more security on your mobile and computer and the latest scandal regarding data processing with the latest fashion of social networks, the Face App.
On many occasions, we download and install “free” applications without being fully aware that the payment for it is us. Information in this technological age is the most powerful and appreciated tool, so the big data that everyone talks about is the new currency of many applications.
When we accept the conditions of use we are already giving permission for them to see many of our behaviors, uses and tastes that we leave reflected in our smartphones.
With this idea in mind I decided something: to know what it was that during all the years I had Facebook, the social network had stored me and with my consent. On October 19, 2008, I created my account, so it’s almost 11 years of data. What will be in that Pandora box?
How to download all your accumulated information on Facebook
When we talk about Facebook information, we mean all that data that the social network has (because we have given it to them) about us.
Data that includes photos, videos, likes, accounts that you follow, comments you have made (both in your publications and in any other publication) and other data such as advertisements that have collected information about you, search histories and your location.
To download this information you just have to follow some steps, which begin by entering the configuration of your account that you access from your profile, by clicking on the triangle on the right.
Once inside the configuration, click on the menu on the left in “ your Facebook information ” and then, in the menu that will appear on the right, on the button to download the information.
On the next screen, you must choose the information you want to download. By default, all categories are selected, but you can choose the ones you want.
In addition, you must select the time interval of the query. The rest of the options are selected by default and you will not need to modify them.
When you click on the “create to file” button, Facebook will ask you for your password again and will start creating a copy of your information. In my case, being 11 years of data, it took just over an hour and a half. After that time, the file was available for download.
What I found among all the information that Facebook stores about me
The format in which you will see your data is simple to interpret. If you have downloaded it with the options that appear by default, you will find a compressed file that will have the information classified by folders.
In my case, I have found, for example, phones of the contacts I have (in addition to contacts I had and I no longer have) or a list that includes 507 interests that the social network has selected and that appear based on my likes and interactions. These interests include brands such as Asos, characters like Tom Hiddleston, as well as more general concepts such as dresses, astronauts or film festivals.
You can see which advertisers have used your name or any data that you have previously assigned to them in any of their campaigns (not without your consent, remember it), and you can even see what are the ads with which you have interacted (in my case less than 20 in 11 years).
You will also see the comments (ALL) that you have made in the time consulted. And you will realize the magnitude of the interactions with this social network, because you can consult all the events to which you have been invited, to which you have answered and in which you have participated, the pages you follow (which are more than you imagine) and those you have stopped following (which are much less than you think).
A curious fact that stores are of the emoticons that you have used more regularly, and although it seems a lie, you can also see the hours and reactions you have had with posts, photos or videos. All reactions. An endless list of newest to oldest that includes countless likes.
There is also a lack of photos, uploaded by you, in which you have been tagged, those that have been covering and profile photos and those that you have hidden and that only you can see. You have them classified, sorted and downloaded in jpg format.
You also have information about the sessions you have used on different devices, which is practical if you think your account has been hacked or that you have entered from another computer without being you. A history (also huge) of your logins and logins, and numerous security data.
And so many, so much data that are overwhelming, but that has also allowed me to see the magnitude of what a company that offers me something free has of me. Of my person, of my tastes, of my friends, of my life. I have let Facebook know more about me than many people who go through my real life know.