ExtremeVPN Logo

What Does Facebook Know About You? Let’s Find Out

Last updated: May 4, 2024 13 min read
What Does Facebook Know About You? Let’s Find Out

Like other online platforms, Facebook stores much information about you. This increases several security risks for users. In this article, we’ll discusses what information Facebook collects about you, why it does so, and how you can protect your data, disconnect apps, and enhance security on the platform.


Did you know that Facebook might have a wealth of information about you? This surpasses even the most intrusive stalker’s wildest dreams. Shockingly, Facebook has repeatedly failed to safeguard user data.

So, how do you check what Facebook knows about you? This article answers your question by discussing the extent of the platform’s knowledge about you and ways to take charge of your privacy. Let’s delve right into it.

First, How Much Does Facebook Know About You?

First, How Much Does Facebook Know About You?

Meta, the company behind Facebook, logs an extensive range of data, and its data collection practices are enormous. Given the track record of Facebook data leaks, the company doesn’t consistently secure your information.

From personal details to your app activities, Facebook knows a lot! Let’s take a closer look at the following:

Personal Information

Your voluntarily shared personal information constitutes a massive part of Facebook’s database, including:

  • Your full name and birthdate
  • Details about your educational and professional history
  • Information about your places of residence
  • Your phone numbers and email addresses
  • Your current relationship status
  • Significant life events, such as graduations, marriages, or childbirth

If you’ve confirmed your identity on Facebook, chances are you have submitted a photo of your ID. Although Facebook encrypts and securely stores this sensitive information, it is another valuable piece added to its extensive data collection.

This data, however, becomes a goldmine for Facebook and advertisers. Moreover, if a significant portion of this information is publicly accessible, it creates potential vulnerabilities for exploitation by hackers and stalkers.

Facebook Activities

Regarding your activities, Facebook has access to a comprehensive range of information, including:

  • Calls and messages made on the platform, including the Messenger app. However, to be safe, you can utilize Facebook’s secret conversation feature for end-to-end encryption.
  • Your search history, which, unless regularly deleted, retains a log of phrases, people, and videos you’ve searched over the years. This includes voice search history with recordings and transcriptions.
  • Your posts, including named and anonymous contributions in groups.
  • Photos and videos shared in your stories.
  • Comments and reactions added to posts across the platform.
  • Feedback and warnings received from group admins.
  • Events you’ve created and participated in.
  • Ads you’ve interacted with.
  • Check-ins and other significant activities.

Location History

Facebook actively monitors your location by identifying it through your device’s IP address when you log in. This is why you may receive notifications about “suspicious” devices when you travel or use a VPN to alter your location.

Moreover, using any Facebook app leads to tracking your location and constructing a timeline based on GPS data. Additionally, Facebook can discover your whereabouts from events, RSVPs, marketplace listings, and other check-ins.

Although Facebook claims that your location history is private, the decision to trust this claim depends on you.

Device Data

Facebook keeps track of the devices you’ve used to access their platform. This offers security measures for users concerned about potential account breaches. Additionally, it enables you to monitor the locations where you are logged in.

However, it is more than a safety feature; Facebook also uses this data for ad targeting, personalization, and to aggregate additional information about you. When installing the Facebook or Messenger apps on your phone, it requests app permissions.

This includes access to your phone’s contact list, camera, and microphone. These permissions grant Facebook access to your personal information, extending to your contact list.

Financial Details

If you’ve used Meta Pay (formerly Facebook Pay) or paid for game subscriptions, marketplace purchases, or Facebook advertising, Meta processes your payment card details. As a matter of fact, you can access your payment history in Meta’s Accounts Center.

User Interests and Opinions 

Facebook uses your interests and opinions by analyzing your overall activity on the platform. This includes pages liked, events attended, and ads clicked on. Additionally, Facebook is privy to your musical and movie choices, religious and political views, and more.

Previously, you could see what you liked on your Facebook profile– a feature that could be eerily accurate. However, this feature is no longer visible. Nevertheless, it’s reasonable to assume that Facebook continues to analyze your data and activity.

App and Web Activity

Regardless of whether you access Facebook through your desktop browser or a mobile app, it monitors your activity. This includes both the original and Lite versions of Messenger. Since Instagram is part of the same corporate umbrella as Facebook, your activity on the app contributes to your overall profile.

Additionally, Facebook gathers data on the activities of apps and websites linked to your account. Even when these external platforms are not directly connected, the companies behind them might share your interactions with Facebook.

Having discussed how much Facebook knows about you, you’d be shocked that the app also keeps tabs on your location. How, you may ask? Well, let’s discuss that in the next section.

Facebook Knows Your Location: A Full Review

Facebook Knows Your Location: A Full Review

With nearly 80% of users accessing Facebook on their smartphones, the platform has become an on-the-move routine. Installing Facebook on your phone means that it could constantly know your whereabouts. How?

Primarily, your GPS is an accurate indicator of your location. Even when turned off, Facebook uses other options. This includes tapping into:

  • Wi-Fi points
  • Bluetooth signals
  • Nearby cell towers, etc.

Of course, your IP address could potentially contribute to this; Facebook accomplishes this task without relying heavily on your IP address. Knowing that Facebook can track you using the images or media content you capture becomes more scary.

Whether you share a snapshot of Niagara Falls or unpopular locales, Facebook easily determines your location. You must understand that this isn’t mere speculation. Facebook’s privacy policy states its authority to analyze and use all available information.

Steps to Discover Your Facebook Data Profile

Steps to Discover Your Facebook Data Profile

To review or download a copy of all your Facebook data, follow the steps below:

  • Navigate to Facebook and click on your profile picture in the top-right corner of the page.
  • Click “Settings & privacy.”
  • Select “Your Facebook information” in the left-hand menu.
  • Click “View” next to “Access your information” to see various information that Facebook has about you.
  • Select the information category in the left-hand menu, like “Your activity across Facebook,” “Personal information,” or “Logged information.”
  • Notably, each category shows various sets of data collected by Facebook. For instance, on “Your activity across Facebook,” you will see a comprehensive list that reveals your posts, photos, messages, and more.
  • Alternatively, you can return to “Your Facebook information” and select “View” next to “Off-Facebook activity.”

How to Retrieve Your Data from Facebook

How to Retrieve Your Data from Facebook

To retrieve your data from Facebook, here are the steps to follow:

  • Navigate to Facebook, click on your profile picture in the top-right corner, and then select “Settings & privacy.”
  •  Click “Settings.”
  • Select “Your Facebook information” in the left-side menu.
  • Click “View” next to “Download your information.”
  • Select “Request a download” for a list of your Facebook data. For Instagram, simply download the data Meta got from Instagram.
  • Notably, you can also decide whether to make a “Complete copy” of your data or select specific types of information to retrieve instead.
  • Select the date range for the data you wish to retrieve. You can specify whether the data should be in HTML or JSON format and determine the quality level for images and videos.
  • Lastly, click “Submit request” after configuring your preferences.

Remember that it may take several days for Facebook to compile your archive. Once ready, Facebook will notify you via email, and you will have a 4-day window to retrieve your information.

Ways Facebook Gets Information About You

What Does Facebook Know About You? Let’s Find Out

Facebook gathers information about you through various channels using several methods:

  • User-provided information: Populating your Facebook profile with details builds blocks in Facebook’s data repository. Everything starts with your email address or phone number. Then, your profile gradually takes shape as you add extra information.
  • App activity: Simply scrolling through posts, commenting, or creating content contributes to your Facebook information. These actions allow the platform to deduce your interests and preferences.
  • Tracking tools: Facebook uses various tools to track your interactions on websites. Moreover, it also utilizes third-party cookies to enhance its tracking capabilities.
  • Meta services: Facebook collects information from affiliated apps and services like Instagram and WhatsApp.
  • Other platforms: Facebook collaborates with other companies that share information about you. For instance, if you’re already a subscriber to a particular service, it might share your email address with Facebook. This prevents redundant ad displays.
  • External sources: Data brokers and public records are among the diverse channels through which Facebook receives your information.

What Does Facebook Do with Your Data?

What Does Facebook Do with Your Data?

Facebook uses your data for various reasons, including:

  • Personalized experience: Facebook collects data to create a personalized user experience. This includes advertisements and optimizing content and recommendations to encourage prolonged engagement.
  • Data analytics: Facebook uses gathered data for robust analytics. It gets valuable insights into trends and demographics by measuring and analyzing user activity. This benefits marketers, advertisers, and business partners in shaping their strategies.
  • Communication: A part of the collected data facilitates communication efforts. Facebook uses this information to personalize messages and keep users informed about changes on the platform.
  • Security: By monitoring and detecting harmful activities, Facebook gathers information to confirm if a user’s account has been compromised.
  • Research and innovation: Facebook gathers data for research purposes. This data is useful in enhancing user experience and developing innovative features.

Controlling Your Privacy on Facebook


The most effective approach to stop Facebook from tracking your data is permanently deleting your account. Doing this prompts Facebook to remove your information from its platform. However, remember that information collection may persist from other websites and apps.

Other simple yet effective approaches that guarantee your account’s privacy include:

1. Using a VPN

Facebook possesses information about your IP address, exposing details about your ISP, location, and connected networks. Thankfully, a VPN hides your IP address from Facebook and other platforms. Moreover, it enhances your online security and privacy through data encryption.

ExtremeVPN is your best bet for protecting yourself from Facebook’s data collection practices. Moreover, it’s an effective yet affordable option with a risk-free 30-day money-back trial.

2. Share Less Information in the “About You” Section

Users share a lot of information about themselves on Facebook. Thankfully, you can leave many “About You” fields blank, as they are not mandatory. However, suppose you already filled in the field. In that case, you can delete your information by:

  • Clicking on your profile picture located in the top-right corner
  • Selecting the “About You” section where you can review and manage your details
  • Adding an entirely different birthdate and removing other private information

Remember that reducing the amount of available information limits Facebook’s knowledge about you.

3. Manage Additional Personally Identifiable Details

You must review and limit details, including check-ins, statuses, events, photos, life events, etc. Although navigating through these details may require some time, the effort is worthwhile.

4. Erasing Previous Facebook Activities

It is crucial to erase previous activities and retain data about your actions beyond the platform. Given the extensive nature of your data, it’s wise to clear old activities and block future connections to your Facebook account.

You can clear your previous activities by:

  • Choosing “Settings & Privacy” > “Settings” > “Your Facebook information” to begin.
  • Select “View,” which is beside “Off-Facebook activity.”
  • Click “Clear previous activity.”
  • Select “Clear” and “Clear previous activity” to disconnect previous off-Facebook activities.
  • Revisit the “Off-Facebook activity” page and select “Manage future activity.”
  • Click “Disconnect future activity.”
  • A disclaimer explaining what turning off-Facebook activity will pop up. Click “Confirm” to continue.

5. Managing Your Ad Preferences

Understanding that completely removing ads or their personalization is impossible. Reviewing your ad settings lets you restrict the personalization level derived from vicarious information. This includes the ones provided by Facebook’s partner or your profile.

6. Deleting Facebook Search History

Although your Facebook search history is less sensitive than Google’s, it can offer significant insights into your interests. Here’s how to delete it:

  • Go to Meta’s Accounts Center and select “Your information and permissions.”
  • Open the “Search History” settings.
  • Select “Clear All Searches.”
  • Click “All Time” and confirm.
  • Set auto-deletion period.
  • Lastly, click “Confirm” to enhance your preferences.

7. Managing App Permissions

Your mobile devices may share sensitive information if you use Facebook-related apps like Messenger. For instance, the official Facebook app may need access to your camera, calendar, contacts, location, videos, etc.

Consider limiting some permissions to only when the app is in use. This ensures you have more control over the data shared from your mobile devices.

8. Disconnect Other Websites and Apps from Facebook

Of course, it’s more convenient to log into other apps and websites through Facebook. However, this comes with grave privacy and security risks. Balancing convenience with security and reducing the information you share with Facebook is advisable.


Just like Google, Facebook is among the top data collectors in the world. Facebook knows everything about you, from your personal information to the posts you’re most interested in. The platform utilizes this information to sell users personalized ads and improve its overall performance.

Hence, if you value your privacy, be aware of Facebook’s extensive control. Pay attention to the details you share with the platform, and stay protected with a top-notch VPN service like ExtremeVPN.


What kind of information can I get on Facebook? Up
On Facebook, every piece of information is categorized into two main sections. Firstly, “Your Activity Across Facebook” includes data from your posts, tagged photos, and groups. Secondly, “Personal Information” covers the details you shared during account registration.
Is there anything you can’t find on Google? Up
Undoubtedly, Google has its limitations. It only indexes information that’s already published or created. You won’t find recent scientific discoveries or mind-blowing inventions on Google that haven’t made it to public platforms yet.
What data does Facebook collect about users? Up
Facebook stores a lot of information about its users, such as: – Personal information like phone numbers and email addresses – Location – Interests and opinions – Browsing data – Finances
What does Facebook do with the data it collects from its users? Up
Facebook utilizes the data stored to create user profiles. These profiles help the platform to sell personalized advertisements, refine its services, perform analytics, and enhance overall user engagement.

Knowledge is Power, ExtremeVPN is Freedom

Protect your sensitive information while using Facebook!

GET STARTED 30 days money back guarantee

Share this article

About the Author

Thomas is a talented writer and digital privacy fanatic. He loves exploring the world of cybersecuri...
More from Thomas

Related Posts


No comments.

ExtremeVPN Watermakr Icon

Protect and enjoy your digital life with ExtremeVPN

  • Safe and seamless streaming
  • Privacy on Wi-Fi networks
  • No DNS leaks
  • One account, ten devices
  • 6,500+ servers in 78 countries
Get ExtremeVPN