Facebook Knows Exactly How Many Times You’ve Searched For Your Ex

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018. Andrew Harnik/AP

Featured eBooks

Digital First
Cybersecurity & the Road Ahead
Emerging Technology Trends

The company keeps all the records of your online stalking.

Facebook knows a lot about you—including every time you’ve searched for an ex, a crush, or any other person on the platform.

This little tidbit is part of a 225-page document which includes more than 2,000 questions for Facebook from senators from the U.S. Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees, and the company’s answers, submitted June 8. They are follow-ups to Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before the committees in April.

California senator Kamala Harris asked in detail about the scope of Facebook’s data collection, and whether it “collects and permanently stores” every search users make for another person on Facebook.

The company answered that indeed, it did keep all the records of your online stalking. There’s good news: you can delete any search query you want, although it will take about six months for the log to completely disappear, Facebook says. Just go to the “Activity Log” on your profile page and click on “Search History.” Next to every query, there’s an option to delete it. Technically, no one can see this information except yourself, but better be safe than sorry, right?

Facebook’s responses to the Senate revealed some other creepy things it knows about you, including tracking your mouse movements, and whether you’re actively looking at Facebook or if it’s in the background.