How to Download all the Data Facebook, Google, Apple, and More Have on you
The dust of Facebook’s biggest setback has now begun to settle. But the incident has left a rather self-examining mark among the users for every other internet platform. And, frankly, it has been a long time coming. While these companies might be infamous for collecting a whole lot of user information, most of them have introduced the ability to download every piece of data they have on you making it easier for you to decide which privacy setting you need to correct. Here’s how to access it on every major service.
Download Your Facebook Data
- For generating a report of your Facebook data, you’ll have to head over to its website. It’s not yet available on the mobile apps.
- Once you’ve logged in, click the little arrow in the top right corner. Head into settings.
- Now, inside the “General” page, you’ll find a link which says “Download a copy of your Facebook data”. Click that.
- On the next screen, you’ll be able to specifically select the type of information you’re interested in such as messages, posts, contacts, and more. You can choose all of them, of course.
- In case you’re on a limited data, you can also alter the media quality to reduce the file’s size.
- Tap the “Create File” button once you’re done.
Facebook will now process your request and notify you through email and the apps whenever it’s complete. You’ll be then able to download an HTML file which will let you easily browse all the information the company has on you.
Download Your Instagram Data
Similarly, Instagram too has added an export option which lets you download a copy of everything the social network has on you. The file consists of everything from your basic information to the usernames of your followers to the searches you’ve made. Like Facebook, the feature is yet to arrive for Instagram’s mobile apps and is only available on the website for now.
- To download your Instagram data, head over to this link and log in with your credentials.
- Enter your email and hit Next.
- Now, you’ll have to input your password again and once done, press Next. All set.
Instagram will now email you the file once it’s ready. Unlike Facebook, these files are in JSON format, hence it’s little difficult to read and browse.
Download Your WhatsApp Data
For retrieving your WhatsApp data, there are two prerequisites — you need to own an Android phone and enroll in the beta channel. The messaging service has yet to make the feature available to all the users.
- If you do own an Android phone, open up this link for becoming a part of the Beta program or you can simply sideload the latest APK file.
- Now, all you need to do is for generating the report is launch the WhatsApp app, open settings from the three-dot menu present on the top right, and tap the first option which is “Account”.
- There, you’ll find “Request Account Info”. Click the “Request Info” button. Your report should be ready in a day, although I received mine in a couple of hours. Since your messages are not obviously not included this, the response time doesn’t depend on how active you’re on WhatsApp.
The report will include several details such as whether you’ve opted in or out for sharing the data with Facebook, which platform you’re on, your phone’s model number, since when you’ve been online, and more. The feature should begin rolling out to all the users in a few weeks. However, as of now, we don’t know when is this coming for iPhones.
Download Your Google Data
Of course, we have the company which exercises control over billions of devices and most of the internet thanks to its widely popular search engine and browser. With the addition of smart features enabled by machine learning, Google hosts an endless stream of user data from services like Google Maps, Assistant, and more.
- To download an archive of your Google data, head over to this link and log in with your account. On the landing page, scroll down to select specifically which platform’s data you’d like to access. Once done, click “Next”.
- You can customize the archive’s various attributes such as the file type, max size, and where the file needs to save.
- Now, Google will process your request and depending on the size, alert you whenever it’s ready for download.
Download Your Apple Data
Apple has consistently remained one of those rare breeds of a company which has put user privacy before everything else. As a result, there’s not a whole lot of information the Cupertino giant has on you apart from a few such as your iTunes and product purchases. Unlike others, Apple also doesn’t have a straightforward button on its website for generating a report of a user’s data. Instead, you’ll have to contact the company’s privacy team through a contact form and wait for a response.
- For doing so, go to Apple’s Privacy Page and scroll down to the section titled “Access to Personal Information.”
- Click the “Privacy Contact Form” link and select your language.
- On the next page, choose “I have a question about privacy issues” from the drop-down menu.
- Now, fill in all your details and in the comments mention that you’d like to request a copy of your personal information. Hit submit and you’re all done.
As I said earlier, this isn’t an automated process and can take a while before Apple sends you the file.
Download Your Twitter Data
Another social network which lets you simply grab an archive of all the data it has on you is Twitter. As you’d guess, there’s not much here except for the messages you’ve tweeted, liked or retweeted. In addition to that, the file contains your preferences for your profile’s theme.
- To get started, log into your Twitter account. Click your avatar on the top right and head into the settings.
- In the accounts tab, scroll down to the bottom and click “Request your Archive”. All set, Twitter will now send the file to the registered email.
Download Your Uber Data
Cab-hailing service, Uber also lets you download an archive of all the trips and transactions you’ve made on the app. Not officially, however. For this, you’ll have to download a third-party Chrome extension which automatically compresses all your data from your Uber profile into a CSV file.
- To do so, head over to this link and log in.
- Once installed, click the extension icon and wait for a few minutes.
- Next, go to this web app which lets you easily visualize the CSV and drag and drop the file inside the blue box. The website will show your various Uber statistics like which city you’ve hailed a cab the most. That’s about it.