Facebook wants you to think it’s consistently increasing transparency about how the company stores and uses your data. But the company still isn’t revealing everything to its users, according to an investigation by Privacy International.
The obvious holes in Facebook’s privacy data exports paint a picture of a company that aims to placate users’ concerns without actually doing anything to change its practices.
Data lists are incomplete — The most pressing issue with Facebook’s downloadable privacy data is that it’s incomplete. Privacy International’s investigation tested the “Ads and Business” section on Facebook’s “Download Your Information” page, which purports to tell users which advertisers have been targeting them with ads.
The investigation found that the list of advertisers actually changes over time, seemingly at random. This essentially makes it impossible for users to develop a full understanding of which advertisers are using their data. In this sense, Facebook’s claims of transparency are inaccurate and misleading.