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  • Dean Smith

Facebook is Storing your Personal Data – Here’s How You Can Access and Delete It

There has been an influx of concern regarding the data that Facebook stores about you, and unbeknownst to most people, YOU have the ability to access and download this information!

Before downloading your data, you will need to know that this includes much of the same information that is already available to you on your account and activity log, to include Timeline information, shared posts, messages, photos, etc. However, the download data ALSO provides you with credit cards attached to your account, advertisements you’ve engaged with, IP addresses for log in’s/out’s, etc.

Step-by-Step instructions to download your data (this can only be done on a desktop computer, NOT utilizing your smart phone):

1. Use your internet browser to access your Facebook Settings.

2. Click the link for “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”

3. Click “Start my Archive” button.

4. Facebook will then require you to reenter your password to confirm your identity.

5. Facebook will then notify you of this: “It may take a little while for us to gather your photos, wall posts, messages, and other information. We will then ask you to verify your identity in order to help protect the security of your account.”

6. At this point, you will be able to click “Start My Archive” or “Cancel.”

7. After clicking “Start My Archive,” Facebook will display the following message: “We are gathering your information and will send an e-mail to ‘YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS’ when it is ready for download.”

8. Once you have received your email, you will be instructed to click on a link, which will then start a download of all your Facebook data. You can then access the file from your downloads!

Here’s a full list of your data that Facebook is saving and where you can find it in your account and/or in your downloaded information:

TO DELETE the information above, pay close attention to the “Where can I find it?” section of the graphics above. Access your activity log, account settings, etc. (this portion can be completed on both your desktop computer and smart phone), and individually delete the information you wish.

If you are using your smart phone:

1. Open the Facebook app

2. Click the icon consisting of three horizontal lines on the bottom right portion of the screen

3. Click Settings and/or Settings & Privacy

4. Click Activity Log for instance

5. You will then be able to filter between the “Type” of data, such as posts, posts you’re tagged in, photos and videos, photos you’re tagged in, etc., as well as by year!

6. Once you’ve selected your filters and year, you will then be able to individually delete the information from your Activity Log (if that’s the area you’re working from).

If you are using your desktop computer:

1. Log in to Facebook using your browser.

2. Click the downward facing arrow at the top right corner of Facebook.

3. Access your Activity Log and/or Settings from there and repeat the process above.

Once the data has been deleted from your account, it will then take 90 days to be removed from Facebook’s servers.

Any questions regarding this process, feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience!

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