Facebook is now allowing users to download an expanded archive of their account history as part of the 'Download Your Information' service. This initiative was launched in 2010 as a way for users to get a copy of some things they’ve shared on the social networking site including photos, posts, messages, a list of friends and even chat conversation transcripts. The expanded service will now add previous names, friend requests sent and IP addresses that a user’s account has logged on from.
Note that the site still doesn’t allow you to download your friend’s photos and status updates, other people’s personal information and comments you’ve left on other people’s posts.
Many have criticized Facebook for not being forthcoming enough with regards to personal information and in some regions the social site is pushing the limits of privacy laws. In Europe where Facebook is the largest social network, 40,000 users have already requested a copy of their personal data. The company is said to collect data across 84 different categories about each user.
Facebook is rolling out the additional features included in 'Download Your Information' to all users gradually and plans to add even more categories in the future. To access the archive, simply visit your Facebook account settings.
It goes without saying that the only data Facebook can collect about you is stuff you submit on your own. If you are worried about something cropping up to haunt you down the road, it’s probably best not to upload and share it to begin with. A little judgement and self-control goes a long way.