Think back to when you first signed up to Facebook. It was mostly likely at least a decade ago. That’s more than ten years worth of link clicks, happy birthdays, saved pages, likes, status updates and photo shares all stored on what is now not so much a social network as it is a data mega-business.
This controversial storage (and subsequent sharing) of information has hit the headlines this week, with worldwide outrage over Facebook on-selling our private data.
But what do they really know? Fortunately, the breakdown of exactly what Facebook retains about you is documented here, in a widely unknown area called ‘Accessing Your Facebook Data’.
To access it go to Facebook.com/settings, click on ‘Download Archive’ then wait until it’s ready. When it pops up click the ‘Download Archive’ again so that a zip file starts downloading to your computer.
The results are scary, but also scarily predictable, since we actively and openly punch this sort of information into our network every day/week/month. What’s more confronting is just how much is stored. The sheer volume of time and information we have invested in what was only ever meant to be a way to chat with friends.
At the very least its a lesson in knowing that big brother is watching, and remembering.