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How to check your Facebook data in light of the privacy scandal

How to check your Facebook data in light of the privacy scandal (Photo: Pixabay, via MGN Online)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The fallout continues for Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Many Facebook users went to the site to download their digital footprint. This archive of Facebook data includes everything you've done on the social media site since you created the account.

To download your a copy of your Facebook data:

  • Go to facebook.com/settings
  • Click "Download a copy of your Facebook data"
  • Click "Download Archive"
  • Re-enter your password and click "Submit"
  • You will get an e-mail within a few minutes when your archive is ready.
  • When you receive the e-mail, click "Download Archive" again, and a zip file will download to your computer.

Once you have the zip file downloaded to your computer you can click through all of your history, from pictures to videos and posts.

"People need to fully understand you can download all the data you want, but they still have the data," Dr. David Salisbury, professor of information systems at the University of Dayton, said. "The real value to Facebook is when you do put everything about yourself online so that they can understand who you interact with, the kinds of social networks you run in and the kinds of influence you may have when you're trying to sell products or political candidates."

The Federal Trade Commission confirmed Monday it's investigating Facebook's data practices.

"As a regulatory agency [the FTC] has the power to file lawsuits," Dr. Lee Hannah, assistant professor of political studies at Wright State University, said. "They have the power to fine Facebook and request more information."

"It's entirely plausible that it's going to result in some regulation on what Facebook can and can't do," Dr. Salisbury said.

Facebook's stock fell as much as six percent Monday, but rebounded to finish up 0.42 percent.

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