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Everything you need to know about how your personal data is stored on Facebook

According to Statista.com, Facebook has over 1.65 billion users around the world. 890 million people log on to the site each and every day. That number represents a great deal of personal information about people, their preferences and relationships to others. This fact isn’t lost on Facebook administrators and the company has endeavoured to be transparent about how that data is collected, stored and shared. At Evolution Business Data Recovery in Bath, we often have customers ask about Facebook data and confuse this with general data store on their hard drive. Whilst Facebook images, status’ and personal information is often safe from file curroption, Facebook users should be aware of what happens to their data.

Privacy Controls

The most important thing to know about your data is that you have control over what is shared and collected. You can access your privacy parameters in the settings menu. You can also set the privacy parameters for each individual post, picture or video. These settings control who can see your posts, who can contact you, and whether or not search engines can find your profile.

What Type of Data Does Facebook Collect

3d rendering of a disassembled Facebook app icon with a glowing blue pulse graphic inside

If you have a Facebook account, then you have agreed to allow them to collect data. The company collects data about the people and groups you are affiliated with. They collect data about your preferences such as movies, music and products you like. They collect information about your payment methods such as Paypal or credit cards. Facebook also collects data from third party providers about things you are interested in and purchase outside of Facebook, as well.

That’s billions of photos, videos, and bits of personal data. Now, what happens to all that personal and professional data that Facebook collects? Is it safely stored, protected and responsibly shared? Determining the best way to store that much data has led to new technology and new policies regarding privacy.

How Is The Data Processed and Stored

Your data is classified into three different categories: hot, warm and cold. Hot data is brand new information that needs to be frequently accessed. Warm data is a bit older and cold data is information that needs to be saved, but might not get accessed on a regular basis. It’s like placing certain objects on the desk in your office, some items in the cupboard, and old stuff in your attic. Have you ever tried to access some information, and Facebook told you that it might take a while for those changes to take effect? That’s because Facebook uses a master database and a slave database system. These databases are fractured and spread out across data storage centres across the United States and Europe.

Every bit of your information is tagged. The system uses an algorithm which determines which portion of the database your information is stored on and then your data is retrieved or accessed using a special ID tag. This information is encoded so that ID thieves and hackers can’t access your data.

No system is perfect and Facebook is constantly making updates on how your data is stored, shared and accessed. Luckily, you can find lots of information in your privacy settings and in the Facebook help centre. You can also send personal queries to the site administrators.

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