Ellen DeGeneres and Andrea Bocelli have my contact details.

I know this for a fact. They uploaded my details to Facebook. Facebook told me.

Because of GDPR we, ‘data subjects’, are starting to regain control of our personal information. Companies like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn now allow you to download all the data that you made available to them.

So I downloaded my Facebook data.

Ellen DeGeneres and Andrea Bocelli are advertisers who’ve uploaded a contact list with my information. And that's only one of the insights from the download. Other interesting information is that, apparently, I am interested in Golden Joystick Awards, Freight Transport and Safari Lodges. Additionally, FB describes my friends’ life stage as Starting Adult Life, or Established Adult Life. How does that explain that someone still poked me in 2017?

I haven’t been the most active Facebook user. That is why there is no payment or location history. But they have an extensive search history on me, as well as data on calls and messages. Why would they collect that?

If you want to see what Facebook has on you: you can. It’s very simple – you can find all your info here. It takes a short while to download – I got it within 15 minutes.

Other companies have your data too. You can see what data LinkedIn stores within 10 minutes. That data is very limited, but you can request for ‘all’ data to be shared. That takes up to 24 hours. Access it here.

Google allows you to download data from their 46 (!!) products. That’s why Google indicates it takes ‘hours or maybe days’ to generate your data. As I am a heavy user of Maps, Gmail and other Google services (they just sent me an email where to get my 13gig of downloads), I am very curious what this is going to bring.

GDPR is forcing companies to make progress towards your data privacy. However, should it not be that we can choose which data we like to share with a brand, per default? That we can choose to give more data to the brand, if it becomes clear that it also benefits us?

Facebook, LinkedIn and Google are long established organisations. I gave them my data when I was young and naive. But going forward, if I have a choice between two brands, I will make my decision based on some other rules.

Brands that are the closest to us customers will eventually get our data. If I trust that you bring value to me, I will give data to you. We can put that into some principles;

Now it's time to put these positive data experiences into practice. Do you have any positive or negative experiences with brands? Got any surprises when you downloaded your data? Please share below!