If you had read this article on Nigeria News last week, by now you would have known how to download your Facebook data and how to protect it from being accessed by anybody. And if you had actually done it, Facebook would have sent you a notification later telling you your Facebook data is ready to be downloaded
This’ like a follow-up to the Facebook data I downloaded last week. When I finally got the link to download the data, the first surprise was how small my whole Facebook data was. The Zip file was just about 23 MB. I know I’m not too active on Facebook, but after so many years there, I figured my whole data should be more than that.
Anyway, I unzipped the file into a new folder I renamed ‘my Facebook data.’ The first thing you would notice at this point is the presence of 5 folders and an .html Web file named ‘index’.
The ‘index’ file is the most important if you want to navigate all your Facebook data easily. By clicking on it, you would be able to view everything you have ever done on Facebook in one window.
In other words, the index file contains the complete data of your Facebook account. Here you can click and view your profile info, timeline, all messages you have ever sent or received, your friend’s list and so on.
The first big shock would come when you click the ‘Contact Info’ link. You would discover that Facebook has your contact or phone book. We are talking phone numbers and names here. It turned out that Facebook got this info when I downloaded and installed Facebook Messenger on my phone.
But I uninstalled Messenger a long time ago because I didn’t have any use for it. However, my entire contact list still remained on Facebook severs. What this means is that Facebook won’t delete your data from their servers simply because you deleted or uninstalled something.
However, Facebook was shady about phone book capturing. When installing Messenger, people are made to understand that giving the app access to your phone book is just to connect you with friends also using the app.
Nobody mentioned downloading and keeping an entire contact list.
Having your entire phone book captured on Facebook might not be such a bad thing though. Now you know where you have a backup phone book in case you lost your phone.
The Facebook data also revealed how little the social network forgets. Clicking ‘Timeline‘ would reveal every single thing you ever posted on Facebook. Even comments by friends are shown here. Note that even posts or comments you thought you have deleted would be found here.
You would be able to see the exact date you registered when you click on ‘Security.‘ It would also inform you of your exact IP address and the browser you used to access Facebook at any one time. Login details you have totally forgotten would be found there.
Can you remember the people you have unfriended on Facebook since you joined the social network? Very unlikely. But that info is available on the downloaded Facebook data.
Clicking ‘Friends‘ would show all your current friends and the date you became friends with them on Facebook alongside the names.
Scrolling down to the end of your friend list is another section ‘Sent Friend Requests.‘ Here you would see all the people you have ever sent a friend request to. It doesn’t matter if they accepted or not. The date you pushed out the request would be there beside the name of the person.
After this, there are two more sections for the friend requests you accepted and the ones you declined. And next section is of the people you decided you didn’t fancy them enough to continue being part of your Facebook friend list. These are all the people you’ve ever unfriended on Facebook.
Looking at the list, I was mildly shocked to see the number of people I have unfriended over the years. The list was surprisingly long. I wondered what they did to get binned.
The whole point of downloading your Facebook data was to block your info from ad companies and apps. Clicking the ‘Ads’ link would reveal all the companies that have your contact.
The first section under ‘Ads Topics‘ is all about the ads you ever clicked while browsing Facebook. Apparently, once upon a time, I clicked on an ad with the label ‘Romance (Love)’. Unfortunately, there was no date next to it to help me get a fix why I clicked that add. Perhaps, my love life needed a help then.
The next section tagged ‘Advertisers who uploaded a contact list with your info‘ is a list of all the companies with your contact info. It is likely some of them got the info elsewhere.
For instance, there are companies that specialize in harvesting contact info and selling them to advertisers.
Also, they could have got your contact info from your friends who gave permission to an app or website to have access to all their Facebook data.
The point here is this: your info could have been obtained from numerous sources apart from Facebook.
There are other links in the index file like Pokes, Videos, Events, and photos; all records of what you have ever done on Facebook.
The ‘Applications‘ link contains all the apps you ever installed that have your Facebook data. It was humbling to find out I had installed Over 20 apps and given them access to my Facebook info. And here I was thinking I don’t indulge in such things.
This was an eye-opener for me. Have you downloaded your Facebook data yet?
Written by Austin Cyril from NIGERIA NEWS