As Facebook deals with increased scrutiny over its data practices, many curious users have downloaded the file of personal data that the company keeps on all of us. The files contain all the information Facebook has gathered about you, and many users have been shocked to discover the scope of what they contain. One of these discoveries, revealed last week by New York Magazine, was that Facebook keeps every video you’ve ever taken — even the unpublished ones.
This troubling fact came to light when a New York Magazine reporter’s sister discovered many video clips of her practicing the flute contained her data file. These were videos she’d filmed, but never actually posted to Facebook. Soon, more reporters at the publication were combing through their own info and finding the same thing. The publication reached out to Facebook, which soon apologized and promised to delete everyone’s videos.
“We investigated a report that some people were seeing their old draft videos when they accessed their information from our Download Your Information tool,” Facebook said in a statement. “We discovered a bug that prevented draft videos from being deleted. We are deleting them and apologize for the inconvenience.”
This case illustrates why it’s such a good idea to check your Facebook info and settings. You never know what you’re going to find, and what you discover could initiate actual change.