Facebook data SCANDAL: This easy trick tells you what personal data companies keep on YOU

Facebook is at the centre of a growing controversy around user data.

The US social network was rocked earlier this week by a whistleblower who claimed Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based political firm hired by Trump for the 2016 campaign, had improperly accessed information on 50 million Facebook users.

The news has wiped-off almost $50 billion from Facebook’s market value as investors fear the dealings with Cambridge Analytica could permanently damage the social network’s reputation, deter advertisers and invite tougher regulation.

Facebook has said the data was harvested by Aleksandr Kogan, a psychology academic, who created an app on the platform that was downloaded by 270,000 people.

It says he then violated its policies by passing the data to Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook requested the data of 50 million users be deleted from its database, but allegedly never followed-up to check its users’ information was safely disposed of.

Alexander Nix, the head of Cambridge Analytica who was suspended on Tuesday, said in a secretly recorded video that his company had played a decisive role in Trump’s election victory.

Facebook holds a huge amount of data on its users.

Much of this information is volunteered by its users – profile picture, photo albums, statuses, messages, friends, videos, comments and events.

And other data is quietly collected by Facebook in the background, like web history, location information and even the time spent looking at each post in the News Feed.

If you remain logged into Facebook, the social network can see almost every other website you visit.

And even if you log-out of your Facebook account before you start surfing the world wide web, it still keeps a close eye.

Facebook is alerted every time you load a webpage with one of its Like or Share buttons embedded. Any websites that use advertisements sourced from Atlas network will also track your movements.

If you want to see everything Facebook has collected on you, the California-based company lets you download an archive of your information.

Click on the arrow in the top right-hand of the Facebook homescreen.

Then Settings > General > Download a Copy of your Facebook data > Start My Archive.

Enter your Facebook password, then you’re done. Facebook will begin collating all the information it stores on its users, before sending the final package in a .ZIP file to you.

Open-up the .ZIP file to see a complete overview of everything the social network has ever learned about you.

In the Ads folder, find the file labelled Ads.html to see which third-party companies have access to your data.