Ever wonder what information Facebook is collecting about you? Well, you’ve been able to find out since 2010, when Facebook first introduced the Download Your Information feature.
Now the company has announced that it’s making the downloads even more thorough. On top of the photos, posts, messages and list of friends that you could download before, now you can get information on things like previous Facebook names, friend requests and the IP addresses you’ve logged in from.
The process is pretty simple. Go to Account Settings and at the bottom of the page should be a link that says “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” (The feature is rolling out gradually, so it might not be available for you yet.) Click it and your report will be emailed it you. My 26.3 MB file took more than an hour to reach me. Was it useful? If you have the time to search through a huge folder filled with jpegs and HTML files, sure.
Of course, this won’t stop Facebook from using your photos in embarrassing ads or make its privacy settings any less confusing, but it’s still nice to know what information it has on you. In a blog post, Facebook said “more categories of information will be available for download in the future.”
As for those new categories, may I suggest the following: people who have tagged you in pictures and the number of times a user has been featured in Sponsored Stories. Also, if they could somehow organize and sum up the information, that would be nice too.
In other Facebook news, the site announced that it’s making addresses consistent across the site, meaning the address that people use to send you email on Facebook is the same one they’ll use to find your Timeline. This will both make you easier to find and, Facebook hopes, make you more likely to use its email product.