How Facebook Database Works

How Facebook Database Works.Social networks are a kind of gigantic and multi-level “organism”, where one of the most important components is a colossal array of data about users. Social media databases are various pieces of information about millions of members. And the leader among them is the Facebook database as the largest social network in the world. Therefore, it is not surprising that hackers from all over the world consider this database as one of the most delicious trophies.

Alas, the social network has repeatedly appeared in scandalous stories related to data leakage.


  • How the database is formed
    • Sources of information
  • Data retention periods
  • Who uses the data and how
    • Other leaks
  • Is it possible to get data? – Yes!

How the database is formed;How Facebook Database Works

To the uninitiated, it will surely shock you how deeply the social network can intrude into the most hidden corners of our lives. What is the fact that Mark Zuckerberg was forced to admit the fact of collecting data not only about registered users of the social network, but also about all the people who came to the site, regardless of whether they are registered or not.

Sources of information

User Profiles . It contains information that users provide about themselves voluntarily when registering on a social network or during their stay in it. Browser history is also tracked, and based on the data collected, users receive targeted ads.

Information that a user shares with a social network when looking for some people . Often this is information from the phone books of mobile devices, which now often contains not only names, surnames and phone numbers, but also information about the place of work, the address of a person, and other additional information.

Advertising pixel, as well as social plugins (likes, reposts, subscriptions …) . Moreover, information about unregistered users is also collected to send them offers to register on the social network.

By the way:

In the administration of Facebook, data about people who do not have accounts on the social network are called “shadow profiles”. These are people who can be persuaded to create an account on a social network and, thanks to this, become potential consumers of targeted commercial advertising. That is, it will be possible to earn money on this audience. But until that time, they are of no interest to the administration of the social network.

The lion’s share of the money that Facebook receives is advertising revenue. That is, each new user is a consumer of advertising who will at least see it, and as a maximum react to it. That is, the more people register on the social network, the higher the welfare of the company, the more opportunities it has to receive money from advertisers.

Data retention periods

According to the official information of the company:

  • the history of authorized users is stored for 90 days;
  • the same amount – information from the Facebook pixel about third-party users;
  • the storage period for data about third-party users collected using special plug-ins is 10 days.

These terms seem small only for the uninitiated person. But the picture changes when we take into account how actively we use the Internet. Many people use the same “share on facebook” plugin almost daily, that is, data about them can be stored in the social network administration for as long as you like.

See what the server and database look like – here .

It is also interesting that even the data of people who use the Internet very carefully may be in the administration of the social network. After all, they are not able to influence the actions of their acquaintances, which lead to a person who is showing minimal activity.

Who uses the data and how

The database of accounts that users create on Facebook is the main tool for the company’s business activities. It is detailed information about the audience that is the basis of the foundations of proper targeting. Opponents of this approach abound. But nothing can be done. This is the specifics of the device of the modern Internet.

Of course, the administration of the social network has repeatedly stated that the safety of data for them is a priority of priorities. But, as they say, on the other side of the scale are high-profile scandals related to base leaks.

In particular, in 2018, data on 87 million people were at the disposal of the Cambridge Analytica agency. It is the loudest scandal of its kind to date. And then the situation was aggravated by the fact that dishonestly obtained information was used to influence the outcome of the election campaign. That is, they were used by dishonest politicians.

This incident was the reason for the tightening of the privacy policy on the social network and the introduction of a number of new, more stringent rules regarding the safety of data. So the administration is trying to justify itself after that high-profile scandal.

Other leaks

However, information about new incidents pops up on the network from time to time:

  • April 2019 – data of 540 million Facebook accounts (names, phone numbers, comments and reactions to events on the network) were found on the servers of the trading giant Amazon;
  • March 2019 – an archive of a now closed application was discovered, which contained email addresses and even user passwords;
  • September 2019 – a Facebook database with IDs, phone numbers and personal data of 419 million users was found on the network!

Is it possible to get data? – Yes!

Most often, the personal data of users ended up where they should not have been as a result of behind-the-scenes cooperation between the administration of the social network and large companies. Part of the data was collected thanks to applications that previously had a number of very dubious options. Of course, the Facebook database, which in our time is quite doable given the opportunity, is a tasty morsel for a considerable number of companies. Now you can find hundreds of offers to use automatic scanners. This process is called parsing.

Attention! The current data privacy policy is extremely strict. Officially, user data can only be obtained after a written request. Those who will try to do it somehow differently, the social network threatens with blocking and legal measures.