Subject: Facebook... Yikes!
Unless you’ve been living under the CLU rocks, yes those up on the hill, you know that Facebook has been in the news for disclosing data it collects on millions of Americans. Habits, likes and contact information were gathered even when users were not logged in. To be fair, most social media companies and other web sites collect information on you as well, it’s mostly explained in the tiny font we all hastily accept to start using these services. What is done with that data is under increasing scrutiny particularly with Facebook’s recent revelations. While you might be OK with advertising tuned to your interests, being manipulated politically or attempting to influence the way you feel about something could be quite a different story.
Facebook has a general sense of who you are, gathered through uploaded contact lists, photos, or other sources, producing a body of data that is being called "Shadow Profiles". What’s contained in these profiles?
6. Education level
7. Field of study
9. Ethnic affinity
Complete List of 98 items
Downloading Your Facebook Data
Looking at your Facebook data is an interesting and revealing exercise. Start on your Facebook page and from the banner on the top, right next to the question mark in the little circle you will see a down-arrow. Click on the arrow and a drop down box appears. Scroll down to “Settings”. In the General Account Settings tab, right under your information you will see a link titled: “Download a copy of your Facebook Data”. That’s all there is to it. Click on the link and Facebook will prepare a report of personal information. When it’s complete you will receive a notification to download the data and you will be asked to re-enter your password.
Once you download your data, start combing through the information. In the second tab, under your photo take a look at contact information and you will find the contact information on everyone you have ever connected with. And not just on Facebook.
If you have never done this, we highly recommend you take the journey. It will give you a truly informed perspective on the sheer volume of data that can be mined and used by anyone who has the price of admission.
Here's a helpful hint. From the help button on Facebook, type in "Cambridge" - you will see a link called "How can I tell if my data was shared with Cambridge Analytica. You will get a response to let you know if you or any of your Facebook friends ever clicked on the Cambridge link: "This is Your Digital Life".