June 9th, 2020 at 2:13 pm, I paid $13.87 to have bubble tea delivered to my house via the popular food delivery service Doordash. I can’t say I’m especially proud of this decision.
When I made the purchase, I expected that my little indulgence would remain between me and Doordash, since I hadn’t done anything to explicitly link the service to my other online accounts. Maybe the driver who delivered it would roll their eyes. Maybe Doordash’s recommendation system would say “Ah, that’s a juicy sale!” and suggest I repeat the order in a few days. But I assumed my purchase wouldn’t ripple much beyond that.
But I was wrong. Doordash (and hundreds of companies like it) aren’t just recording every purchase you make. They’re also sharing purchase data with other companies, who are using it to target ads. And as I would discover as a result of my extravagant bubble tea order, one of those companies is Facebook.
The result is that consumers can now access massive data dumps from several large companies, including Facebook. To get your own, you simply go to Facebook.com/your_information, click on Download Your Information, and follow the instructions. Often within a few minutes, you’ll be invited to download a giant zip file with everything Facebook knows about you.