I came across this tweet:
Download your Facebook account .zip off their site, unzip it, then go to the HTML folder, open the contact_info.htm file. See records of who you've talked to on your cell?not with the app, just on your regular cellphone?and for how long.
I'm curious. So let me download this
.zip file from Facebook
and see what they have on me (the link to download said file is on the
“General Account Settings” page, shown as “Settings” from a pull-down menu
masquerading as an upsidedown triangle in the upper right corner of a
Facebook page). A few minutes later, Facebook notified that my
.zip file was ready for download.
I'm happy to say that the
contact_info.htm file is
empty! Apparently, Facebook has a hard time obtaining such
information from iPhone users (I only had the app installed for maybe a month
years ago and ended up deleting it). Android users who have the
Facebook app installed will probably be surprised to find what's there.
timeline.htm file shows every post (but no comments!)
I've made. My first entry reads “is trying to figure out the hype around
MyFaceSpaceBook” from November 11th, 2008. And my first blog entry
I posed was this one two days later.
There are also copies of every picture I posted, along with any comments they
received (nice). Interestingly, each picture also comes with additional
- camera make
- camera model
- original width
- original height
- ISO speed
- focal length
- upload IP address
Since most cameras include such information in each picture (except for the upload IP address) it's not surprising to see Facebook using it. But as I know that most cameras include such information, I have always stripped it out before uploading the images (it doesn't matter where—whether to my own blog or to MyFaceGoogleLinkedInSpace BookPlus) there's nothing there, except for the IP address.
There's a list of all the people I've “friended,” along with a list of requests I've sent that haven't been accepted. I see that Bobby Cannavale has yet to accept my “friend“ request I sent on November 28th, 2008 (come on Bobby! We were in a play together in high school! You remember that, don't you?). There's also a list of “friends” I've declined to accept (Sorry Ken Lee, but you left me hanging! No way I'm going to “friend” you now).
The scariest information I've found was in the
Advertisers with your contact info
- CSS Industries, Inc. Careers
- Viking River Cruises
- Inrego AB
- Gold's Gym
- Sally Beauty
- Best Buy
- Viking Ocean Cruises
Thank you for informing me that Viking Ocean Cruises have my contact information, but why did I not get a cut of the action here, Facebook? You certainly earned some money selling that information to Inrego AB, but I too, would like some of that filthy, filthy lucre. Oh wait … you aren't letting me use Facebook without charge out of the goodness of your heart—I'm “paying” for Facebook with information about me. Okay, I get it. I'm the product being sold.
There's a bunch more information but it's stuff I have given to Facebook so it's not terribly surprising.
So that's what Facebook is willing to tell me about what they have on me. I'm sure they have way more on me that I'm not privy to, like what sites they have tracked me visiting, what I'm worth to them, and what they think I like and dislike, what my political affilation is, and if I'm one of the 50 million users whose information was ultimately sold to the Trump campaign, or if I'm one of the 180 million users whose information was ultimately sold to the Obama campaigns.
I'm not holding my breath on getting that information.