Facebook Introduces Redesigned Tool to Download User Data Amidst Privacy Concerns

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 12 Jan 2021

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WhatsApp is taking the flak for the new privacy policy that mandates users to share data with Facebook. The worst part is that there is no option to either share the data or stop using WhatsApp. Privacy-focused messaging apps like Signal and Telegram saw an uptick in users migrating from WhatsApp.

It seems like Facebook is now in damage control mode. Earlier today, the company clarified that user data will not be shared directly with Facebook. They have recently launched a redesigned “Access Your Information” tool for iOS and Android. It allows users to view all the data in detail and download it.

Over the years, we’ve developed tools to make it easier for people to view and download data on how they’ve used our services. We first launched Access Your Information in 2018 so that people could have a central place to access their information on Facebook.

Facebook claims the new tool is more “usable and transparent.” Starting now the data is segregated into eight categories, and each category is further broken down into subcategories. Below is the list of categories,

Your Activity Across Facebook

  • Friends and Followers
  • Preferences
  • Personal Information
  • Logged Information
  • Ads Information
  • Apps and Websites Off of Facebook
  • Security and Login Information

So you can simply choose any category and download user data for the same. Facebook has also added a search feature that lets you find types by searching for them. For instance, if you start searching for “location”, the results would include categories like location history.

Most importantly, Facebook now lets you see how your data is being used for serving ads. It will show the category of data used to serve a recent ad. Facebook says it has made the changes after “research” that showed how users interacted with Access Your Information.

What are your thoughts about Facebook’s new tool to download user information? Let us know in the comments below.

[via Facebook]