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Why You Should Back-up Your Facebook, Google And Twitter Data Regularly

Facebook keeps a treasure trove of information on you, which goes all the way back to when you first started to use the social network. Why You Should Back-up Your Facebook, Google And Twitter Data Regularly

How To Download A Copy of Everything Facebook Knows About You

* You can download your own archive of this information if you want to see what Facebook knows, or if you want to leave the social network and take your history with you.

Facebook stores almost every single interaction you’ve had with the social network since you joined, including every time you’ve logged in, ads you’ve clicked, events you’ve been invited to, a list of the people you follow, your friends, your hometown, every time you’ve sent or received a message, every single status update and more.

It’s basically the history of everything you’ve done on Facebook. It’s also the data that Facebook can use to learn more about you. When others get unauthorized access to this data, they can learn a lot about you as well, as we learned from the Cambridge Analytica scandal that’s currently unfolding.

Here’s how to see everything Facebook knows about you and how to download your own archive of that information. It might be useful, especially if you’re planning to quit and take some of those memories with you.

What Facebook Knows

To learn what Facebook has on you, check out this page titled “Accessing Your Facebook Data.” The above image is just a sample of what’s there.…

It’s kind of surprising how much data is there, but it includes everything from check-ins to chat conversations, credit card numbers you’ve saved, phone numbers, photos and more.

When I did this, I found conversations with individuals I had years ago, photos from my timeline, ads that I had clicked throughout the time I’ve been using Facebook, groups I’m in, posts to my timeline dating back to 2005 and more. It even had events that I was invited to or attended back in college in 2006.

How To Download Your Facebook Archive

You can download your own archive of this data from Facebook. Here’s how:

* Go to
* Tap “Download a copy of your Facebook data.”
* Tap “Download Archive.”
* It might take a few minutes, but Facebook will alert you when your archive is ready.
* When it is, click “Download Archive” again, and a zip file will download to your computer.
* Browse through that archive by opening each file inside the folder.
* Again, what you’ll find is that this is an entire history of your life on Facebook.

You can use this as a copy of your profile that you can download if you plan to leave the social network, but it’s also just a reminder of how much Facebook knows about you.


Updated: 4-25-2021

Transfer Your Facebook Photos, Posts And Notes To Other Sites. Here’s How

Want to quit Facebook? Now you don’t have to worry about losing all of your posts.

Ready to delete Facebook, or just looking to make sure your years of photos, videos, posts and notes on the social media platform are saved elsewhere for you to access? Facebook now lets you transfer all of your valuable information from the site to other platforms.

Facebook already allows you to download all of your data (including the ad-targeting information the site collects about you) in a ZIP file, and to move photos and videos specifically to Google Photos, Dropbox, Backblaze and Koofr.

As of April, you can also directly transfer your posts and notes from the site to Google Docs, Blogger and Facebook plans to let you move more data types to different partners in the future, according to a company blog post.

The expansion of Facebook’s Transfer Your Information tool comes as Facebook and tech companies like Amazon and Google have faced allegations from regulators and lawmakers that they use monopoly power to illegally suppress their competitors, CNET reporter Queenie Wong reported. Lawsuits filed against Facebook last year noted that people have a difficult time moving their information to other platforms, an issue that keeps them on the social network.

Here’s how to use the Facebook Transfer Your Information tool to send your photos, videos, posts and notes to other platforms.

These instructions are largely the same whether you’re accessing Facebook in a browser or on the mobile app.

How To Transfer Your Facebook Photos, Videos, Posts And Notes

1. On Facebook on desktop, click the down arrow in the top right corner. Click Settings & Privacy > Settings > Your Facebook Information.

2. Click Transfer a Copy of Your Information, and re-enter your Facebook password.

3. Choose what you’d like to transfer — photos, videos, posts or notes. (If you choose photos or videos, you’ll have the option to move all of them, or those from a selected date range or album. If you choose posts or notes, the only option is to select them all.)

4. From the drop-down menu, choose which platform you want to transfer your information to. (Facebook notes that after the transfer, that service’s terms and policies will apply to their use of your information.)

5. Log into the service you selected to move your information to, and select Confirm Transfer.

Now you’ve got a copy of those precious Facebook posts to do with what you choose.

For more, check out how to completely delete your Facebook account, and a few tips for how to ease your transition off of Facebook.

Facebook Will Let You Transfer Posts And Notes To Other Platforms

The updated tool could help ease some antitrust concerns raised by lawmakers and regulators.

Facebook said Monday it’s rolling out a way for users to transfer their posts and notes to Google Documents, Blogger and, a move that could help ease concerns that the social network uses its monopoly power to squash rivals.

The world’s largest social media company, along with other tech companies such as Amazon and Google, have faced allegations from regulators and lawmakers that they engage in illegal anti-competitive behavior.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission and 48 attorneys general filed separate lawsuits in federal court accusing Facebook of illegally stifling its competition by snapping up its rivals and harming consumers with weaker privacy protections. They also noted how users have a tough time moving their information from Facebook to other platforms, forcing people to stay on the social network.

Steve Satterfield, Facebook’s director of privacy and policy, said in blog post that they hope to “advance conversations with policy makers, developers and experts” about making it easier for people to transfer their data to other platforms.

“We plan to continue expanding our data types and partners in the future. However, the ecosystem we are building to support data portability will not come to fruition without regulation that clarifies which data should be made portable and who is responsible for protecting data once it has been transferred,” he said.

To access transfer your posts and notes, users should visit their settings and click on “Your Facebook Information” followed by “Transfer Your Information.” Then you enter your password and click down on “choose destination” to pick the platform you want to transfer your Facebook posts and notes to. After logging into that service, users will be asked to “confirm transfer.”

Facebook already allows users to transfer photos to Google Photos, Dropbox, Backblaze and Koofr. Users can also download a copy of the information they’ve provided Facebook.

Updated: 9-9-2021

Smart Glasses by Facebook and Ray-Ban Mix Cool With Creepy

Why You Should Back-up Your Facebook, Google And Twitter Data Regularly

Ray-Ban’s Stories look like classic sunglasses. Except they’re made in partnership with Facebook and have built-in cameras that are hard to spot. We tested them.

Look, did I feel creepy recording my mother and my aunt without them knowing? Or my barista? Or a random couple at the coffee shop? Or my Uber driver? Or…an aggressive squirrel in Central Park? I sure did, but I was just doing my job.

And by job, I don’t mean a spy—not that I could tell you if I was one anyway. I’m a not-at-all covert technology columnist reviewing a new pair of camera-equipped sunglasses from Ray-Ban and Facebook, and considering the privacy implications of such an innovation.

I don’t blame these people for having no idea I was James Bonding them. Just as I don’t blame the other 20 people out in public I ran the same hidden-camera experiment on this week. Not one spotted the cameras or the recording light until I told them. (So as to not invade their privacy, I told all of them quickly after I started rolling, and deleted footage upon request.)

But really, how could they have known? These sunglasses look like the classic Wayfarer Ray-Bans you’ve known since Tom Cruise slid into the living room in his tighty whities. Sleek polarized lenses, round frames, Ray-Ban logo and all.

Except embedded in them is one teeny-tiny recording light, two 5-megapixel cameras, a three-microphone array, four gigabytes of storage and, oh, about a million concerns about the future of wearable technology.

Connected camera glasses aren’t new. There was Google Glass and more recently Snap’s Spectacles. Like those, the $299 Ray-Ban Stories—which go on sale Thursday—are meant to let you capture life without holding your phone in your face.

These Ray-Bans just look normal. That’s what makes them so cool, but also makes them, well, spy glasses. Ray-Ban will sell them in 20 different style combinations, including with regular clear lenses. (It will offer a prescription version, too.)

And they’re powered by technology from Facebook, which has a long history of privacy issues. Executives from both Facebook and Ray-Ban parent Luxottica assured me that privacy is built into the product. And there are some strong protections. They also assured me that these are intended for capturing spontaneous, fun moments. Kids! Roller coasters! Concerts! Sports!

The glasses are great for those things, but—as I found in my week of testing—oh goodness, there’s a gap between what tech is intended for and how it can be used.

The Intended Use

One tap on a small button on the glasses’ right temple and I was off recording short videos of my son, never having to fumble with my smartphone. There he is jumping on the trampoline, running after my dog in the park, smiling ear to ear as I chased him with a bubble gun.

To stop recording, I just press the button again. Otherwise, recording will stop after 30 seconds—the current limit set by the companies. Half a minute goes very quickly. In many instances, I was disappointed the recording cut off so fast. If you have voice control enabled, you can also say, “Hey Facebook, start a video” or “take a photo.” (It won’t respond to other types of requests.)

Long-press on that same button and you can snap a photo. That’s where the second camera comes in. For still photos, it gathers depth information so when you edit the photo in the Facebook View companion app, you can pan around and see some slight movement.

The image quality isn’t as crisp or clear as what you’d get with the latest iPhone, but it’s certainly good enough for sharing to your Facebook or Instagram Stories.

How do you actually do that? Images and videos are saved to the glasses. Then, when they are paired via Bluetooth with your iPhone or Android phone, you can sync the media in the Facebook View app, which requires you to sign in with your Facebook account. To share, there’s a third step: You have to export the photos and videos to the Facebook and Instagram apps—or really any social-media app.

Alex Himel, vice president of augmented reality at Facebook, told me the company walled off the Facebook View app for privacy. There’s no advertising in the app, and the content of your photos and videos in the app aren’t used for advertising.

Once photos leave the app, they are subject to other apps’ policies.

Because of that Bluetooth connection, you can also listen to music or podcasts through built-in speakers near your ears. Doing a 30-minute guided Peloton run with just the glasses and my phone was pretty great (though I missed the sound quality and noise cancellation of my AirPods Pro). You can also take phone calls, and control the volume by swiping on the touch-sensitive temple.

But wearers of these sunglasses must beware…the sun! While sitting outside on an 85-degree day, I got a phone alert that my glasses had overheated and could no longer take photos or charge.

The Possible Misuse

With the same tap that I recorded fun family moments, I was also able to record nearly two dozen covert files.

That LED recording light is slightly bigger than a poppy seed. At a healthy Covid social distance, many struggled to see it even when I pointed it out. Plus, since the indicator is a white light, it’s easily outshined outdoors by sunlight. Snap’s Spectacles, on the other hand, have easy-to-spot circular LEDs that surround the cameras.

Facebook And Luxottica Had A Few Responses To My Concerns That This Is Spy Gear:

• The gesture of lifting your hand up to the button is an additional signal that you’re recording. (In my tests, few noticed the gesture.)

• The 30-second video limit is set so you can’t record people at length without their knowledge.

• Before using the glasses, the Facebook View app instructs users to explain the LED light to others, and provides further guidance on appropriate behavior.

• The companies will launch a website explaining the privacy protections, and a marketing campaign to let people know these camera glasses exist.

If you really intended for no one to see the light, you could cover it up with a piece of black tape. The camera still works. Facebook says this is a violation of its terms of service.

“New norms will develop as people get used to this new type of device that can capture,” Mr. Himel said. “We’re open to feedback on what’s working and what’s not. We want to help bystanders feel more comfortable.”

A Facebook spokeswoman said the company consulted with privacy organizations and experts during the development of the glasses, including the National Consumers League.

John Breyault, a vice president at the organization, said he suggested to Facebook that the camera should stop working if someone concealed or disabled the light. He also said he suggested that the glasses have some different branding or design to make it clearer that they weren’t just your usual Ray-Bans.

“Unfortunately, those features weren’t included in this first iteration of these smart glasses,” Mr. Breyault told me. He did say that Facebook did implement his group’s other suggestions, including the recording time limit and the app’s privacy measures.

Another Concern: Voice control often mistakes what I say for “Hey Facebook”—including telling my son, “Hey, don’t touch that.” But the feature isn’t on by default, and it never accidentally took a picture or video. There’s also a power switch so you can turn off the cameras and microphones.

The Inevitable Excuse

It would be easy to tell you that you should go out and buy these Ray-Bans. It’s amazing how much tech is packed in such a classic design. We might look back at this as the moment we heard the starting gun in the smart-glasses race.

Yet whenever I think of the cool, I can’t shake the creepy. Easy to record your kids! And just as easy for some stranger to record your kids. Easy to capture spontaneous moments with your friends! And just as easy for someone to record a partner who is unaware a camera is on.

Dystopian? Sure. But one of the big lessons of the last decade—and the rise of Big Tech—is that cutting-edge convenience comes at a cost. We’ve already slid down a few slippery slopes, including a lack of data privacy and smartphone dependency. The cost may be worth it at times. We have free search engines and social networks, and little computers in our pockets that do so much.

But before we tumble down the next slippery slope it is worth much deeper consideration. In the case of the Ray-Ban Stories, I’m not convinced being able to take pictures without a smartphone in your hands is worth the potential privacy concerns.

Augmented-reality glasses, however, will eventually gain functionality that will seem worth it. Hopefully by then, everyone will be able to see the recording light—or at least know to look out for one.

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