Updating Our Data Access Tools

Over the years we’ve developed a range of tools that allow people to easily view and download data about how they’ve used our services, including Download Your Information on Facebook and Download your Data on Instagram. Today we’re adding more data to these tools and we want to describe what that data is and the role it plays in our services.

Why are we doing this?

Over the last decade we’ve been working to extend the functionality of our self-service data access tools to help people access data in meaningful ways. Today’s step is part of these efforts. There have also been growing efforts by many policymakers and regulators to enhance people’s rights around access to their data. These laws include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, which was implemented in 2018 and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which took effect earlier this year.

What data are we adding to our tools?

1. Data used to improve your experiences:

Download Your Information and Download Your Data will now contain additional information about your interactions on Facebook and Instagram. As you browse the internet, apps and websites constantly use data to improve your experiences. We use data such as information people add to their profiles, or actions such as following a Page or liking a post, to personalize what people see on Facebook and Instagram. This is a big reason why no two people ever have the exact same experience using our products. Our Data Policy describes how our services work in more detail.

2. Inferences used to improve your experiences:

Download Your Information will now include more inferences about the content you interact with on our services, which we use to recommend what you see in Facebook’s News Feed, news tab and Watch sections. Understanding the kinds of content people engage with is an important part of how we make people’s experiences more relevant to their interests. For example, if someone shares an article about a football team that one of their friends posted, we may show them other football-related content. We infer that the person is interested in football because they engaged with their friend’s article about the sport. Also, in Download Your Data we’ll include categories assigned to some accounts, such as sports or fashion, used to suggest content in Instagram’s Explore tab. Inferences aren’t unique to technology platforms. Companies commonly use information like this to improve people’s experiences, so we’re also sharing new educational content to help people understand this data and how we use it.

It is important to us to keep working more transparently with regard to data. So we will continue explaining the role that data plays in our services and update our tools whenever we can as the global conversation about this important topic evolves to make sure that people can continue to access data in meaningful ways. 

To access our self-service tools, you can visit Download Your Information and Access Your Information, Download Your Data, Ad Preferences, Why Am I Seeing This Ad, Access Your Data and Why Am I Seeing This Post, and Off-Facebook Activity.

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