The recent Cambridge Analytics/Facebook story about how information on Facebook users was being used to profile and run ads for political campaigns had us wondering what we should do about our personal data on Facebook. Luckily Fin at Business Achievers has given us instructions on how to check what data Facebook has on you and, by extension, your family and friends.
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How to Check What Data Facebook Has On Your Profile
If you have been wondering what data Facebook holds on you then here is how to get a copy of your Facebook data to check. You will need to do this on a desktop or laptop, not on your phone or tablet as you have to unzip some files at one point.
1. Log into Facebook with your account details. Click your settings (click the upside down triangle in the upper right hand corner of your page; a menu will drop down. Find and click: “Settings”.)
2. Click where it says “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”
Re-enter your password. Facebook will compile your data and will send you notification when your archive is ready to download. You will also get a link via email to get your information. Check your email spam folder; the subject should read “Your Facebook download is ready.” Mine took about an hour to arrive.
3. Click the Download Archive button or link in your email and you will be asked to enter your Facebook password once more.
4. This will download a .zip file that should be called: “facebook-YOURUSERNAME.zip.” You will need to unzip the files, usually by clicking on the .zip file and following the extract instructions. It will create a series of folders on your desktop/loaptop.
5. Look for a file called “index.html”. Click on that file and the archive should open in your browser. You’ll see the profiling data Facebook has on you (and by extension your family and friends) and who it is shared with.
It’s worth having each family member that is on Facebook follow these steps too.
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How to Check What Apps You Have Connected on Facebook
While we are on the subject, Cambridge Analytics were able to harvest data because of a quiz app that people had used. So next you should check what apps you have connected on your Facebook profile. And remove any that you are no longer using.
Here’s how to check what apps you have on your Facebook profile
- Go to your Facebook account.
- Click the down arrow on the top toolbar and then Settings.
- Choose Apps.
- You will now see a list of all the apps that you have authorised on your Facebook Profile
If you want to remove an app from your profile, there are two ways to do this. You can do it on the desktop site or on the app. However, you should note that removing an app doesn’t ensure that your data will be removed from the app developer’s database. You will also need to contact the developer, and you can only do this through desktop/laptop.
Here’s how to remove an app from your Facebook profile
- Hover over the app you want to get rid of.
- Click the X icon.
- A popup will give you information on how to contact the app to remove your data. After noting information, click the Remove button on the popup.
- After deleting the app, if you want to be sure your personal data is deleted, then you can either send a message to the app or go to the app’s website to fill out a form.
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Business Achievers is a business portal and networking hub designed to connect business owners and entrepreneurs to industry thought leaders, generate new business opportunities and deliver solid positive and supportive connections. They also have a current GDPR group if you’re in business and want to discuss the upcoming data protection regulation.
Over to you now. Did you find these instructions on how to check what data Facebook has on you useful? Tell us in the comments below.