Yup. Don’t freak out– it’s not like walking naked into a mosquito nest.
You already know that Facebook has given us a tool to download all our data— messages, posts, pictures, friends, and whatnot– even private stuff.
But I’ll bet you didn’t know they recently and quietly added a list of all the advertisers that are including you in their custom audiences.
The self-service data export tool was a result of EU privacy laws, which have apparently expanded to allow Facebook users worldwide.
Facebook has a helpful explanation of what you can get.
When you go to your settings and click on the link to export your data, they send you a file back in under 30 minutes.
Mine was 371.3 MB zipped, which expands into folders for video, images, and ads.
Most of the size was from videos.
To find a file called ads.html to see the thousands of data points FB makes available to advertisers to target you.
Scroll past your detailed ad history and lead ad forms to get to the section called “Advertisers with your contact info”.
Most of these are web custom audiences, meaning you’ve been to their site. Here are a few other examples from my colleagues at Content Factory:
My friend, Joe Merkel, helps with content. There are 95 advertisers with his contact info:
Notice how a few entries like Uber and Airbnb appear multiple times? Weird, but probably from different territories or divisions, like how there’s a Spanish and German entry for Facebook.
Now for another, from our head editor, Max Darby, with 48 advertisers:
It seems when one parent advertiser gets your information, they can share it amongst subsidiaries of the same brand. Notice the multiple entries for Amazon and Gearbest? Like above, it’s most likely just different divisions.
What does your advertiser contact info profile look like?