Facebook today revealed it is expanding the list of data it provides you via its own Download Your Information tool (see the link for my guide on how to use it). Facebook says it also plans to add more categories of your data to the tool sometime in the future. Here's the official announcement:
Starting today, you will be able to download an expanded archive of your Facebook account history. First introduced in 2010, Download Your Information lets you get a copy of what you've shared on Facebook, such as photos, posts, messages, a list of friends and chat conversations. Now you can access additional categories of information, including previous names, friend requests you've made and IP addresses you logged in from. This feature will be rolling out gradually to all users and more categories of information will be available for download in the future. Download Your Information is available from your Facebook Account Settings.
This move is a direct response to one of Europe versus Facebook's many complaints against the social networking giant. Do you remember when Reddit users flooded Facebook with personal data requests via the service's official form? Well, that was thanks to the group's initiative to bring attention to how Facebook does not let users access all their data. So far, the group says 40,000 users have used its guide for how to make a Facebook access request.
This is a huge win for Europe versus Facebook, which has been arguing with the social networking giant about this issue for a long time (see links below). I have contacted the group to see what they think of the improvement and will update you if I hear back.
Europe versus Facebook says the total number of data categories is 84, while Facebook argues most of these are useless to the user anyway. I have also contacted Facebook to find out how many data categories the tool now provides.
- Facebook misses March deadline following privacy audit
- Facebook on EU data protection laws: We're already compliant
- Facebook: The law reasonably states you can't have all your data
- Europe versus Facebook: The law protects program logic, not data
- Facebook: Releasing your personal data reveals our trade secrets
- Reddit users overwhelm Facebook with data requests