Los Angeles -- In surprising turn of events, the popular social media humongous Facebook is gearing up to let you download an expanded archive so you can view more of the information recorded about what you have been up to. The social networking giant today revealed that it is expanding the list of data it provides you via its own Download Your Information tool.
Facebook is broadening a feature entitled 'Download Your Information', which allows you to view an archive of all the posts, photos, and other content you have shared over the years.
Now in addition to your own content, the feature allows you to take a peek at additional categories of information, including previous names you have used, friend requests you have made, and even IP addresses from which you have logged in from, Facebook said in a post on its Privacy Timeline. Launching today, the expanded Download Your Information archive will roll out gradually to Facebook's almost 900 million users, so you may not see the full scope of data available just yet.
(Image Credit: CNET)
Facebook originally introduced the tool in 2010, which empowers Facebook users to download their information amidst ongoing privacy concerns at the site. During a press event that also included the rollout of Facebook Groups and app-level controls, Mark Zuckerberg said many users had requested copies of their information, prompting the addition.
The move has popped all eyes on the social media leader and experts mediate Facebook's latest move may be an effort to address the recent criticism of its privacy policies, however privacy campaigners are claiming the data shared does not go far enough.
“We welcome that Facebook users are now getting more access to their data, but Facebook is still not in line with the European Data Protection Law,” University of Vienna student Max Schrems told the New York Times.
“With the changes, Facebook will only offer access to 39 data categories, while it is holding at least 84 such data categories about every user.”
On the other hand, Schrems requested his own data from Facebook in 2011 and received files with information in 57 categories. Schrems concluded the social networking site was holding information he had previously deleted, and were gleaning information on his whereabouts based on his IP address.
Apparently, this move is a direct response to one of Europe versus Facebook's many complaints against the social networking giant. Do you remember when Reddit users flooded Facebook with personal data requests via the service’s official form? Well, that was thanks to the group’s initiative to bring attention to how Facebook does not let users access all their data. So far, the group says 40,000 users have used its guide for how to make a Facebook access request.
Ulrich Börger, a Lawyer from Latham and Watkins, expressed their views on the issue said the sites will eventually be required to simplify their consent policies, but it is unlikely they will be legally prevented from using information provided by individuals who sign up to their sites.
“At the end of the day, it comes back to the question of consent,” he said. “They cannot go so far as to prohibit things that people are willing to consent to. That would violate an individual's freedom to receive services they want to receive.”