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What does Facebook have on YOU? Now you can find out

Did you ever wonder how much information Facebook has on you? I've leaned to the cavalier, big surprise: what am I trying to hide, right?
Since the Cambridge Analytica story broke, I've wondered more assiduously. And over on Facebook, film-maker Don Young awakened his FB friends to the possibility of finding out just how much the social media giant has gleaned from your postings.
Users can now acquire an archival record of their own history. All you have to do is ask. I went ahead and did so, and the zip file I received and downloaded is sobering.
You see the accompanying photo? That's Our Hero in the favourite chair of Robert Burns, as preserved in his favourite pub here in Dumfries . . . but Sheena took the shot, and I guess I posted it, eight or nine years ago. It is one of scores (perhaps hundreds) of images that Facebook has "borrowed" from my timeline.
The photo collection is completely up to date, and includes three images I posted yesterday. I don't know whether it is exhaustive, though it looks like it could be. And we're talking not just images but messages and html breakdowns of every like and sad face.
The organization is chaotic, and I haven't stumbled across any Messenger phone calls . . . though Don Young reports listening to old exchanges that, to his shock, had been recorded.
Anyway, you can see for yourself. All you have to is go into your Facebook Settings. There you will find a new link that allows you to request a copy of your archive.
People will draw their own conclusions. All I guarantee is food for thought.

Ken McGoogan
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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.