Facebook: More access to your data

Rebecca MacKinnon's Consent of the Networked book cover

Facebook continues to improve on data portability issues. On The Media spoke last week to an Austrian student sent a thousand-page data dump when he asked Facebook for his personal data under EU law. Today, when you ask, Facebook sends you a form email (text below). You’re still not getting all of your data, but your self-service options are more complete and easier. Data you can download includes your profile and much of your activity, including off-Facebook “likes.” How useful and reusable is the downloaded data? I don’t know; if you try, please ping me and I’ll update the post. Meanwhile, Facebook’s Data Access Request Team writes “We expect to have a new tool with additional categories of data to download available in the next few months.”  Here’s hoping the new downloads come with specs so third-parties can put your archive to work.


Hi,

We are sending you this email to update you on our agreement with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner of Ireland regarding subject access requests. Following conversation with the Office, Facebook agreed to provide further categories of personal data to its members. With the agreement of the Office, this will be accomplished on a rolling basis due to the engineering tasks related to making these new data available in a self-service manner. We expect to have a new tool with additional categories of data to download available in the next few months. However, as soon as you have converted to Facebook’s new profile called “timeline,” you will have immediate access to historical and current data. The following categories of data will be available to you on your timeline and in your “activity log”, which is accessed directly from your timeline:

- Comment on others’ posts, photos
- Posts on others’ timelines
- Others’ posts on your timeline
- Various app activity
- Open graph activity (listened to a song, read an article)
- Status updates
- Likes
- Posts in Groups
- Posts on Pages
- Shared links, photos, other information
- Added friends

We encourage you to explore these features while we work on the new download tool.

Please read through this email to learn more specifically about the types of personal data that Facebook processes and how you can access your personal data.

Personal Data Processed by Facebook

We encourage you to have a look at the “Data Use Policy” (formerly called Privacy Policy), which describes:

• The categories of data being processed by Facebook,

• The personal data that Facebook receives from Facebook members,

• The purpose or purposes of the processing of such data,

• The source or sources(s) of the data, if known, and

• The recipients or categories of recipients to whom Facebook members’ personal data are or may be disclosed

You will find the current version of the Data Use Policy at https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/

Accessing Your Personal Data – From Your Account

We’ve built a convenient self-service tool to offer people who use Facebook the opportunity to access the personal data we hold about them. We are adding an additional tool in the coming months. You can access your data immediately any time, free of charge.

To find the self-service data access tool:

1. Click the account menu at the top right of any Facebook page

2. Choose Account Settings

3. Click the link at the bottom of the page “Download a copy of your Facebook data”

Check to see whether we have your credit card information stored by clicking > Account Settings > Payment Methods. From there, you may choose to change or delete stored credit card information.

Please note that we have several measures in place to ensure the security of your information. We require you to confirm your identity to complete the process. You will not be able to access the downloaded information until you have completed the security check.

Your downloaded file may contain sensitive information. You should keep it secure and take precautions when storing, sending or uploading it to any other services.

Remember: You can also access the personal data held in your current profile (timeline) and activity log anytime by logging in to Facebook. When you have logged in, you can correct, change or delete your information. If you are having trouble logging in to your account, please visit our Login and Password help page:

https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=174

Accessing Your Personal Data – Without an Account

If you are unable to access your profile or if you do not have an account, please click here:

https://www.facebook.com/help/contact_us.php?id=166828260073047

You will find a special form here for you to make a request to access your data.

Thanks for contacting Facebook,
Facebook User Operations – Data Access Request Team

Murphy
User Operations
Facebook

1 comment to Facebook: More access to your data

  • I just downloaded my data from Facebook. It’s zip file with a couple of HTML documents and your uploaded pictures organized into folders for each album. Included information is: Profile (with no links to pages liked), wall posts with no one tagged, a page with the names of your friends, a list of linked events that you said you were attending, and all of your messages but the sender’s name has no link to their profile.

    The html of the pages uses decent markup with microformats which would make it relatively easy for another web service to import your data from the downloaded file.