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Facebook Users are Downloading Their Data and are Shocked by What They are Finding

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As the Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to make headlines, Facebook users have become increasingly concerned about the amount of data the social media giant has on them. Many have chosen to download all of their Facebook data, giving them a chance to see exactly what has been collected. And most aren’t happy with what they are finding.

Most Facebook users expect the site to gather information about how they use the app, but are discovering that the social media giant is collecting much more than just their likes, comments, and who they friend.

Many people are discovering, according to a report by IFL Science, that Facebook also accessed data from their phone contacts, call records, and even text messages, including those outside of the Facebook Messenger service. And that only scratches the surface of what has been collected.

On Twitter, people are sharing what they discover in their Facebook data files, including details about people who aren’t on Facebook, but are saved as contacts in the Facebook user’s phones.

“They have plundered my phone,” said Emma Kennedy. “They have phone numbers of people who aren’t on Facebook. They have phone numbers of household names who, I’m sure, would be furious to know their phone numbers are accessible. I’m appalled.”

Facebook users are also seeing who has received their contact information, including one who said their “biggest surprise so far” was that “Facebook gave Sum 41 my contact info.”

While some would assume those with this amount of data exposed don’t have their privacy settings set to limit Facebook from collecting these details, many of the users claim that isn’t the case, asserting that their privacy settings are highly restrictive.

Downloading your personal data from Facebook is a relatively straightforward process. After logging in, click the downward facing arrow at the top right of any page. Then, click Settings.

Lastly, click “Download a copy of your Facebook data,” which is located at the bottom of the General Account Settings list.