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Facebook Lets You Download More Of Your Data

A sign with the 'like' symbol stands in front of the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
Getty Images
A sign with the 'like' symbol stands in front of the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Facebook's making more of your data available to you.

The social network announced on its Privacy page on April 12 that its users will now be able to download "an expanded archive of your Facebook account history" through the updated Download Your Information feature available on the Account Settings page.

According to Facebook, the Download Your Information feature was first made available in 2010 and allows users to receive a copy of material they have shared on Facebook, including pictures, posts, messages and a list of friends and chat conversations.

With this latest update, a user will now be able to access even more information, such as previous names one has used on the social network, friend requests one has made and Internet protocol addresses from which one has logged on to the site. Eventually, Facebook will add even more categories of information that users will be able to download for themselves.

The Next Web points out, however, that users will not be able to download comments they have made on other people's posts, friends' pictures or status updates and any other personal information that belongs to other users.

According to The New York Times, this update is Facebook's follow-through with an agreement it made with the Irish Data Protection Commission last December, following concerns raised by Austrian law student Max Schrems and others over how the social network stores its users' information.

While Facebook is now making more information available to users, it's still not enough for Schrems.

"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," he 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."

According to the BBC, Facebook will undergo a formal review by the Irish data protection commissioner of the progress it's made this coming July.

What do you think about Facebook's update to its Download Your Information feature? Do you think Facebook users should have more access to data? Let us know in the comments, but make sure to answer our poll below before you do!

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