When I downloaded a copy of my Facebook data last week, I didn’t expect to see much. My profile is sparse, I rarely post anything on the site, and I seldom click on ads. (I’m what some call a Facebook “lurker.”)
But when I opened my file, it was like opening Pandora’s box.
With a few clicks, I learned that about 500 advertisers — many that I had never heard of, like Bad Dad, a motorcycle parts store, and Space Jesus, an electronica band — had my contact information, which could include my email address, phone number and full name. Facebook also had my entire phone book, including the number to ring my apartment buzzer. The social network had even kept a permanent record of the roughly 100 people I had deleted from my friends list over the last 14 years, including my exes.
There was so much that Facebook knew about me — more than I wanted to know. But after looking at the totality of what the Silicon Valley company had obtained about yours truly, I decided to try to better understand how and why my data was collected and stored. I also sought to find out how much of my data could be removed.
I didn’t want to read this piece below. Now, I have to put on my to do list, to do what Brian Chen did, and look at my collected FB files. I am more careful than Chen in one regard. I never let anyone see any address books.. I never log on to anywhere with my fb or other identity. Those are ways to lose all privacy. But I use FB, Like things.
The best thing I learned from my news studies yesterday, is that Mark Zuckerberg announce before Congressional hearings that FB will accept the European regulations starting May 25th, and extend those protection to all its customers in the world. Thank you European Union. Journalists reported that many Senators revealed from their questions that they know almost nothing about FB or how it works.