Facebook makes it easier to see how much it knows about you

You can see how it’s keeping tabs on you across Facebook and Instagram.

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SOPA Images via Getty Images
SOPA Images via Getty Images

Facebook will let you view and download more of the data it collects about you, the company revealed today. It's expanding the Download Your Information tool on Facebook and the Download Your Data tool on Instagram to include more of the info it tracks as you use those platforms -- like what you add to your profile or which Pages or posts you like. That info is used to personalize what you see on Facebook and Instagram, but it also raises some data privacy concerns.

On Facebook, Download Your Information will also show you some of the inferences Facebook makes about you. For instance, it might show you that it's recommending football-related content because you shared an article about football with a friend. And on Instagram, you'll be able to see categories assigned to some accounts -- like sports or fashion -- that are used to suggest content in the Explore tab.

You probably won't do much with this data, but it could be interesting to see how Facebook and Instagram are keeping tabs on you and why they're recommending certain content. Last year, Facebook also increased transparency about ads, sharing details about why you were matched with specific advertising. While it may seem like this is a noble step for Facebook, it's driven, at least in part, by regulation like the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act. As we've said before, Facebook only cares about privacy because it has to.

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