Tech Unheard

Privacy Alert: What do Facebook and Google Know About You?

Recent news about Facebook’s major data breach has some users wondering: What does Facebook know about me?

If you have a Facebook account, you might be surprised to know they store almost all of your activity involving the site. This includes your logins, your location, events you attend, ads you click, your friends, where you’re from, pictures you send, and your all of your messages. With the right security settings, other websites, such as Google, also store a surprising amount of information about us. When people get unauthorized access to this information, like Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, they can learn more about you than you might be comfortable with.

Here’s how to see all of the information Facebook and Google have on you.

See What Facebook Knows About You

  1. Go to your Facebook settings
  2. Click “Download a copy of your Facebook data”
  3. Click “Download Archive”
  4. When your download is ready, you’ll get an email to the email associated with your Facebook account. When it’s ready, click the “Download Archive” button in the notification.
  5. A ZIP file will download to your computer, and you can see all of the information Facebook has on you by browsing the different folders.

See What Google Knows About You

  1. Visit Google Takeout
  2. Choose the data you want to include then click “Next”
  3. Pick the file format – I recommend using a ZIP file with the full 50GB
  4. Select your preferred delivery method
  5. Click “Create Archive”
  6. It may take a few hours or a few days to create, so be patient! When your archive ready, you can browse through the different files like you did with Facebook’s.

Now that you understand the amount information that Facebook and Google have on you, you might want to review your privacy settings on all of your social media accounts. Google and Facebook aren’t the only websites that store our information, so it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as privacy online.