Facebook Overhauls Groups, Allows Data Downloads

Facebook has announced that it has designed a feature that will give users the opportunity to download all the information they have put on the site and see how individual applications are using that information.

The move comes after months of criticism from privacy advocates that the social networking site is sharing information with partners without any of the 500 million users' knowledge.

The Download your Information feature will produce a compressed file containing all the images, videos, status updates and other information uploaded to Facebook.

"It's a core part of our belief that people own and have control of all the information they upload," said Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg has faced strong criticism from privacy groups for his drive to encourage Facebook members to share more information with the widest possible audience.

The download feature is the latest in a series of innovations at Facebook that include better security, functionality to upload high definition images, and the ability to set up groups.

The Groups feature means you can fence off communities easier on Facebook, make them closed and share whatever information you like - including IM, images and you can even treat the group as an email list.

But this groups feature could itself raise new privacy concerns, according to the Financial Times, as it gives uses the ability to share things with others who are in the same group, but are not necessarily their friends.

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