April 12, 2012
Facebook Expanding Its ‘Download Your Information’ Archive
Facebook announced this week that its users will be able to download an expanded archive of their Facebook account history.
Download Your Information was first introduced on the social network site in 2010, allowing users to get a copy of what has been shared on Facebook, like photos, posts, messages, a list of friends and chat conversations.
Now, Facebook is allowing users to access additional information to download, including previous names, friend requests a user has made, and IP addresses a user has logged in from.
The social network said that this feature will be rolling out gradually to all users, and it will be expanding more categories of information in the future.
Users sounded off their frustration with Facebook after the announcement, with some voicing their displeasure about how the social network stores their data.
"So, this means all our informations never get(s) deleted from your server," one user wrote as a comment on the blog post.
Facebook's data collection practices have caused concerned on an international level, testing the boundaries of Europe's privacy laws.
The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPA) reached an agreement with Facebook last December to provide more information to its users and amend its data protection practices.
In Europe, 40,000 Facebook users have already requested a full copy of the data the site has compiled on each of them. Under European privacy law, the social network will have to comply with the requests within 40 days.
The Download Your Information tool can be found in the Account Settings page under a user's profile.
The privacy update comes as Facebook sets its sights on Wall Street for the first time for an expected $100 billion.
Austrian-based collective Europe versus Facebook said the network had only released a "fraction" of the 84 data categories it claimed users should get under EU law.
Facebook did not say whether eventually all of the categories of data would be made available to its 845 million users.
The Irish DPA urged Facebook to seek consent of its users before hoarding various types of data from its members.
Richard Allan, Facebook's European policy worker, said on December 21 that the social network is committed to implement improvements recommended by the EU.
"Meeting these commitments will require intense work over the next six months," Allan told The Register in December.
Facebook has also been in the news this week because the company bought photo sharing app Instagram for $1 billion.
Since news broke that Facebook would be buying Instagram, the app has soared to the number one spot on Apple´s App Store for the first time.