The current furor over Facebook’s slipshod management of user data, which allowed a third party to harvest information about the personal lives of 50 million people, provides a powerful reminder of this eternal truth: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Facebook helps us keep in touch with friends and family. It’s also an excellent way to connect with new people based on shared interests, beliefs or circumstances. It can also be a pretty good source of local, national and world news. While there is no monthly fee for this digital magic, there is a price – your personal information, which Facebook uses to help its advertisers target their messages with laser-like precision.
Facebook tracks and stores nearly every aspect of your FB life including every log-in/log-off, your friends list, messages you received and sent, ads you clicked, posts you’ve liked and, of course, every status update and photo you have posted. This page gives you the complete list of what Facebook gathers from users: Accessing Your Facebook Data.
Even if you aren’t ready to jump on the #deleteFacebook bandwagon, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to see exactly what the social network knows about you. Here’s how to get ahold of your FB dossier:
1. Go to com/settings
2. Click “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”
3. Click “Download Archive.”
4. Facebook will alert you when your archive is ready.
5. Click “Download Archive” again, and a zip file will download to your computer.
You can review the collected material – the history of your life on Facebook – by clicking on the various files. It will likely be an eye-opening trip down memory lane, one that will tell you exactly what you are “paying” to use Facebook.
Check Out: Why You Should Never Argue On Facebook