The secret file that tells you what data Facebook has on you

  • 22/03/2018

Jesse Mulligan found out the hard way how much data Facebook keeps on you when Kanoa Lloyd downloaded his and read it back to him on Three's The Project.

Facebook has come under fire recently after it was revealed Cambridge Analytica was using data from the site to influence elections in the United States and Africa.

The company was using data collected when users took part in online quizzes and managed to get from 200,000 users who completed the quizzes, to over 50 million users from their friend lists.

To illustrate just how much data Facebook keeps on you, The Project host Kanoa Lloyd downloaded all of Jesse Mulligan's and read it back to him live on air.

"This stack here shows me so much stuff and this is the kind of stuff that could potentially be getting shopped out to companies like Cambridge Analytica," she said.

Among some of the things she discovered was the day Jesse signed up to the site, the name of his father and the number of messages he had sent.

The message was to Jesse's flatmate in London, and he remarked it was really creepy that Kanoa was able to find that out so easily.

"I feel creeped out knowing this, I don't need to know this stuff and I definitely wouldn't want a company like Cambridge Analytica knowing this stuff about me either," she said.

Lloyd even managed to find the contents of his first ever Facebook message, but he wouldn't let her read it out on the show.

Katina Michael from the Australian Privacy Foundation says while you don't necessarily have to delete your Facebook it may be time to think twice about those innocuous looking quizzes.

"When you've got 2 billion subscribers and your whole model and whole business is built on advertising and micro-analysing consumers, people have become products and that's a bit evil," she said.

While it may be hard for users to understand the breach Dr Michael says they should be concerned about how their data is being used.

"People perhaps have cared about privacy but haven't realised the seriousness of the micro-analysis going on with our psychographics," she said.

"Everyone should care about their right to privacy and the intrusion of their privacy, how anyone is misusing their personal information."