I couldn't contain my curiosity, and so I took a look. While the contents were slightly amusing (I'm a funny gal) and somewhat useful (I've now downloaded all of my Facebook photos), they're pretty dull. However, I'm not a master of cookies, pixel tags, and IP data. If I had to guess, the aforementioned article's fears are probably centered around the security file included in the download, as well as the association of tags in the ads file.
As Albergotti directes, I navigated to the general settings of my account, clicked on "Download a copy of your Facebook data," and followed the prompts.
This instantly generated the following message to my connected email account:
You recently requested a copy of your Facebook data. We'll send you another email with a link to your download when it's ready. For security reasons, the link will only work for a few days after being sent, so please monitor your email for our message. If the link doesn't work by the time you read your email, you'll have to restart the download.
Learn what data may be in your download: https://www.facebook.com/help/405183566203254
If you didn't request a download of your information, your account may be compromised. Please visit the Help Center to secure it: https://www.facebook.com/help/203305893040179
Thanks, The Facebook Team
You recently requested a copy of your Facebook data. It's now ready for you to download.
Because this download may contain private information, you should keep it secure and take precautions when storing or sending it, or uploading it to another service.
Click the link below to go directly to your download. If the link redirects you to your account settings page, simply click "Download a copy of your Facebook data" to get redirected to the file we've prepared.
Please note: For security reasons, you can only download the copy we've prepared for you within a few days of this email being sent. You'll need to start the process again if you're unable to access your download.
This is a history of the ads I've clicked on, as well as all the tags that have been assigned to me for advertising. I assume the tags are generated from data I've input (updates, check-ins, likes, etc.), though some of them are a little odd. For instance, I'm mystified how "#Delaware's at-large congressional district" relates to me.
The data in my contact_info file also has some anomalies, such as the misspelling of a friend's name and an email address I don't recognize. I'm not certain how data was collected in this email address book.
This simply tracked the Facebook events I RSVPd to. While I didn't use Facebook as my primary calendar, it's nevertheless a nice reminder of some of the fun events I've enjoyed.
Herein is the list of not only my friends, but a list of people who haven't responded to my friend requests, as well as a list of friend removals. The latter may not apply to many people, but it's long in my case, given "Kari's Great De-friending of January 2014," a personal act of life simplification. I'm thankful that this has been archived as I may embark on a great re-friending sometime in the future.
I can see that every private message communication I've had through Facebook is archived here, though grouped in small threads, and not chronologically ordered.
photos and videos
These files retained all of the comments on posted photos and videos. Of course, these are out of context without the related media, which are kept in a separate file.
Remember Facebook Pokes? It looks like Facebook didn't find them that interesting (good choice!). The file shows the last given poke on any individual you've traded pokes with.
The security file appears to have noted every Facebook login, complete with IP address and browser information. Categories include active sessions, account activity, recognized machines, logins and logouts, login protection data (cookie names), IP addresses, datr [sic] authentication cookie info, and administrative records (password changes, group and page admin updates).
This lets me know how my privacy settings are currently set (friends can see my birth day, but only I can see my birth year). (I'm 29, by the way.) This file also lists the sites I've hidden from my timeline (sorry, FarmVille).
This was the file I was looking forward to! Herein chronicled is the first wall post I ever created:
Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 12:18pm PST
Kari Evans Whitney updated her status.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 12:14pm PST
Kari Evans Whitney joined the Tacoma, WA network.