For years we thought it was just a nice way to reconnect with old friends, even make new ones. Single people have met and married, married people have met others and divorced. Political differences, old friends you grew up with, now you can't stand each other. And the cat pictures, lots and lots of cat pictures.

That's what Facebook was for, we thought. But Facebook sees us differently, as consumers whose personal information is priceless (although they're good at pricing it).

Got your actual birthdate and address in the About You section? How many times have you been hacked or identity stolen? That's all ne'er do wells need, your name, birthdate, address.

Ever click on a link to see which celebrity you look like, take an IQ test, or see if you could find your name in a word puzzle and they wanted access to your Facebook information? Now that company knows everything about you too. Added your cell phone number on your account? Facebook now know's where you're going and where you've been.

They call it Data Mining. And they're digging through your emotions and into your pockets.

Got the Facebook app on your phone? There's speculation they can listen to you in real time too, click here for that nugget of information.

All we are is consumers to be plucked, fleeced and stripped of a personal identity, we're just commercial demographics for the multi-billion dollar company to sell and trade-off, and we keep feeding them information.

Yep, everything they know about you, you told them.

Most recently much has been made over everything Facebook knows about us, and how they've handled that information for individual politicians, political parties, and your favorite or soon to be favorite stores. It's all for sale. All of you, your memories as well as your dreams are up for bid.

Someone is always trying to sell us something or change our way of thinking, and that's about it. The more information you give them, the better they can influence you.

Lonesome George - My Grand-cat Oscar All Excited About Halloween.

At least you get to see a cute cat in exchange for reading this far.

You Can See Everything They Have On You

Facebook has now made it a little easier for you to access everything you've ever posted or PM'd, every photo you've been sent, you sent or displayed, including videos and photos you sent in 'private messages' it's all there, and now you can see it all.

Even the stuff you deleted.

You can download and save your Facebook 'archive' and dependent on how long you've been on the site it can take from mere seconds up to minutes or longer, which is based on how much information you've put out there and your connection speed of course.

After MySpace started dying out, the kids all switched to the new Facebook, so I joined around 2008 to keep up with my two teenage boys.

Facebook has my ancient AOL email, and I never put my phone number, address, birthday or other information on it. Haven't to my knowledge released my information to 3rd parties to see which celebrity I look like (I already know, Dan Dierdorf, or so I've been told) or to take an IQ test etc.,

My archive took about 25 seconds to download and wow was I surprised at all the crap, along of course with treasured photos and messages from departed family members that are there.

 

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Here's How to Download Your Archive

Log on, and in the right-hand corner of your newsfeed, there's an arrow for a drop-down menu. Click on 'Settings' and click 'Download a copy of your Facebook data' at the bottom of the screen.

You get a new page where you'll click on 'Start My Archive'. You'll have to enter your password a couple of times in the process. The download will start, and Facebook will notify you via email when the download is complete.

The hardest part for me was remembering my ancient AOL password to open the download.

While you're waiting on your download, take a sheet of paper and think of all the agencies, companies, political parties, and anyone else you can think of that perhaps have been in the news lately that paid to see your information.

Then look at the download. Yeah, stuff you thought you deleted is right there. Have fun.

More Info Here

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