Not very long ago, Facebook has, once again, ended up in the middle of controversy related to personal data of its users. Although many people were outraged, nobody was surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time a global tech giant compromised privacy of those who entrusted their data to it.
But if you do use Facebook, how would you know what the company knows about you? Quite conveniently, the company itself has provided its users with tools that will enable them to do exactly that. So did another tech giant, Google.
Want to know everything that Facebook and Google know about you? If you do, read on. Here is the set of links that will allow you to view or download all of your data. You will probably be surprised.
What Facebook knows about you
Are you ready? If you are, this is the link where you can get to your entire data archive on Facebook. Just be careful if you want to download it. It is likely to be quite a large chunk of data.
As well as seeing everything that you have ever posted on the social media website, you can also see which topic Facebook thinks you are interested in based on what you “liked”. As well as this, you can also see details of every log in into your account, including geographic location and a device that you have accessed it from. Furthermore, there are many more things that have been recorded, even some things that you would never think of being important.
Although Facebook is the company that often receives bad rep for privacy-related issue, it is, by far, not the largest online repository of your personal data. If you have an account with Google, which most of people do, this is the company that probably has several times as much of your personal data.
Google doesn’t have only one download link
While Facebook is pretty much specializing in connecting people on social media, Google provides a whole range of services, including search engine, video sharing, email and even operating system on mobile devices. This is why the company has a separate download link for each of its services.
Want to see what Google knows in terms of where you have been and when? Here is the link for that:
Curious about your entire search history? This is how you access it. You will be surprised to see the items that you thought you have deleted are still there:
Google provides services to you for free. They make money from targeted advertisement. To make those adverts targeted, they need to build up your profile based on your interests expressed through your activity. This is what your personal profile looks like:
As the provider of Android operating system and the main retailer of the apps for this mobile OS, Google knows what apps you have used:
Google owns YouTube, the biggest video sharing website. This is why it knows all of your activity on it:
Finally, there is a link that allows you to download much more from Google than was covered by the links above. This includes your Drive data (including the files you have deleted), all your calendar events and much, much more. If you are interested and have a lot of time on your hand, the link is below. A degree of caution must be exercised thought. The full set of data may span several gigabytes.
Companies like Facebook and Google are enormous in size and make most of their revenue from the personal data of their users, so it is in their best interest to collect as much user data as they can.
Seeing the data that the companies have about you may hit you hard, or it may not surprise you at all. However, if all of this data is available to download, it is not unreasonable to assume that these companies may have some secret data about you too.
It is already well-known fact that Facebook mobile app can have access to your camera and microphone. However, as the owner of the most widely used mobile OS, it is entirely possible that Google takes a whole variety of data from your devices without your knowledge. Therefore, in the age of data breeches, it pays to be cautious.
Alternatively, privacy-centric social networks, such as minds.com would be a good start. Likewise, you can install non-Android OS on your mobile device. There are many options out there.