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Facebook Makes It Easier for Users to See All the Data It Collects

By Donna Fuscaldo - Mar 31, 2020 at 11:51AM

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Facebook expanded the amount of data users can access in a bid to be more transparent.

Facebook (META -0.11%) is expanding transparency around the amount of user data the social media giant collects and how it uses it to customize its platform.

In a blog post, Facebook said it has been working to improve its self-service data tools over the last decade, and the expansion announced Tuesday is part of that effort.

Social media icons on pool balls.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Facebook also pointed to lawmakers and regulators' efforts to protect consumers' privacy rights, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as an impetus for the expansion.  "It is important to us to keep working more transparently with regard to data," Facebook wrote in the blog post. 

As part of its efforts to be more transparent, Facebook said it's expanding the Download Your Information and the Download Your Data tools to include more information about interactions on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook said it uses data including, information people add to their profiles, pages they follow, likes and dislikes and posts, to personalize the experience on both Facebook and Instagram. Now users will be able to access the data Facebook is using to customize that experience. 

The Download Your Information tool will also include more information about inferences Facebook makes about its users based on the content users interact with on its platforms. Facebook said understanding the content people engage with is an important way Facebook makes user's experience more relevant to their interests. For example, Facebook said that if someone shares a story about a football team the social media company infers the person's likes football and will offer up more content around that. Facebook's Download Your Data tool will now include categories users are filtered into to suggest content on Instagram's Explore tab. 

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Donna Fuscaldo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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