22 March 2019

How to Find, Download or Delete Every Information Facebook Gathers on You

If you're worried about what personal information Facebook has gathered on you, there's a way to find it and delete it. This article demonstrates how to locate and delete personal information gathered by Facebook.

Following the backlash over data breaches and privacy issues which plagued Facebook in recent years, some users of the platform expressed desire to learn how they can access all the information the social media giant has gathered on them, so they can decide whether to delete them or not.

How to assess your personal information from Facebook

You may view all your Facebook account data in one single place. In addition, there are a number of tools and resources outlined below to help you review and control your information on Facebook.

Currently, you can review your information on Facebook from the Your Facebook Information section of your Facebook Settings. Information include your recent activity, personal chats, deleted friends, events attended, photos and videos of family and contacts, contact list with phone numbers of everyone stored in your phone, log of sms and mms sent and received on your device, and many more. There have been cases of data of not only Facebook friends, but all the contacts in a user's phone regardless if they are Facebook users or not.

To view Your Facebook Information from a computer:
1). Go to the top right corner of any Facebook page and click the upside-down triangle image.
2). Click "Settings".
3). Click "Your Facebook Information".
4). Go to the information you want to review and click "View".

Facebook recently revamped its privacy settings on mobile devices to make it easier for users to access their personal information. The changes include a new "Privacy shortcuts" menu and tools that will allow users to more easily find, manage and delete their personal data.

To view Your Facebook Information from a phone:
1). Access the Facebook app on your phone.
2). Hit the button with the three lines on the top right (or bottom right in some devices), scroll to "Settings & Privacy", select it and click on "Settings".
3). Scroll down to "Your Facebook Information".
4). Click on the information you want to review.

The following tools and resources are also available in the Your Facebook Information section of your settings:
1). Access Your Information: A summary of your Facebook information that you can access at any time and in a single place. Facebook categorized this information by type so you can find what you're looking for.
2). Download Your Information: Download a copy of your Facebook information. You can download all your categories of information at once, or you can select the specific categories and date ranges you want. To learn more about downloading your information on Facebook, see below.
3). Activity Log: Within your account, your activity log is a history of your activity on Facebook. From your activity log, you can review and manage things you share, from posts you've commented on or liked to apps you have used or anything you've searched for. Learn more about your activity log.
4). Manage Your Information: Learn how to manage your information on Facebook and get answers to common questions.
5). Delete Your Account And Information: Learn how you can permanently delete your Facebook account and information.

Note: You can learn more about controlling your data and privacy settings in your Facebook Privacy Shortcuts.

How to download your information from Facebook

If you want to download a copy of your information from Facebook, you can use the Download Your Information tool.

To download a copy of your Facebook data:
1). Go to the top right corner of any Facebook page and click the upside-down triangle image.
2). Click "Settings".
3). Click "Your Facebook Information".
4). Go to "Download Your Information" and click "View".
5). To add or remove categories of data from your request, click the boxes on the right side of Facebook.
6). Select other options, including:
  • The format of your download request.
  • The quality of photos, videos and other media.
  • A specific date range of information. If you don't select a date range, you'll request all the information for the categories you've selected.
7). Click "Create File" to confirm the download request.

After you've made a download request, it will appear as "Pending" in the "Available Files" section of the Download Your Information Tool. It may take several days for Facebook to finish preparing your download request

Once the company has finished preparing your download request, they'll send a notification letting you know it's ready.

To download a copy of data you requested:
1). Go to the "Available Files" section of the "Download Your Information" tool.
2). Click "Download" and enter your password.

You can also click "Show more" to view information about your download request, such as the format and when it will expire.

How to delete categories of information or your entire Facebook account?

While accessing your information on Facebook as described above, you can easily select which information and date range (like as from 2010) you can delete from. However, you may also want to delete your entire account. If you want to delete your entire account on Facebook, follow the steps outlined here: How to Deactivate or Delete Your Facebook Account.

Electing to delete categories of your information or your entire account on Facebook takes it off the Facebook servers, but the company says it could take up to 90 days for that information to be completely wiped from their servers.

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