Facebook locked me out for requesting MY information

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Jan 8, 2019
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#1
I read an interesting New York Times article (see below) about how you can download all the information Facebook has on you. I've tried this from my iPad using the Facebook app. I access Facebook this way probably 95% of the time. Anyway, a screen came up and told me that I needed to use another device to prove my identity.

No problem. Except when I went to my iPhone Facebook app, it was locked out. I then tried access Facebook from my computer using Chrome. It was locked out as well. Basically Facebook was telling me to prove my identity from another place that I was logged in but they locked me out of Everyplace I had been logged in. They are probably too young to know that's called a "catch-22"

Then they tell me the bug three of my friends to go to "Facebook.com/recovery," get a code and then tell me the code so I can enter it on the Facebook lockout screen. First off, why should I have to inconvenience my friends? Secondly, I did this anyway and it did not work. I double checked the codes (all three of them), tried different orders in entering the codes. Facebook told me the "pin doesn't match" each time. I could maybe chalk this up to a misunderstanding over a phone call. But my friends sent me text messages with screenshots of the codes

Since the first two options of proving my identity and getting rid of the lockout apparently don't work, I now have to send Facebook an approved identity. I do give them credit that they advise you to redact important information, which I did. The next day I got a message that my account had been unlocked and to use the special URL to login.

So I thought it might be a problem accessing my information database from my iPad. I tried my computer using Chrome. The same exact thing happened. It's like they don't want me to see that download. Anyway, I guess this is FYI. Maybe someone else will have better luck with downloading their information. I hope you don't get stuck in the"prove yourself "loop.

By the way, here is the article that I mentioned in the beginning of this post. I would advise reading it:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/...nformation-that-facebook-has-on-me-yikes.html
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,317
1,279
113
Maui Hawaii
#2
I read an interesting New York Times article (see below) about how you can download all the information Facebook has on you. I've tried this from my iPad using the Facebook app. I access Facebook this way probably 95% of the time. Anyway, a screen came up and told me that I needed to use another device to prove my identity.

No problem. Except when I went to my iPhone Facebook app, it was locked out. I then tried access Facebook from my computer using Chrome. It was locked out as well. Basically Facebook was telling me to prove my identity from another place that I was logged in but they locked me out of Everyplace I had been logged in. They are probably too young to know that's called a "catch-22"

Then they tell me the bug three of my friends to go to "Facebook.com/recovery," get a code and then tell me the code so I can enter it on the Facebook lockout screen. First off, why should I have to inconvenience my friends? Secondly, I did this anyway and it did not work. I double checked the codes (all three of them), tried different orders in entering the codes. Facebook told me the "pin doesn't match" each time. I could maybe chalk this up to a misunderstanding over a phone call. But my friends sent me text messages with screenshots of the codes

Since the first two options of proving my identity and getting rid of the lockout apparently don't work, I now have to send Facebook an approved identity. I do give them credit that they advise you to redact important information, which I did. The next day I got a message that my account had been unlocked and to use the special URL to login.

So I thought it might be a problem accessing my information database from my iPad. I tried my computer using Chrome. The same exact thing happened. It's like they don't want me to see that download. Anyway, I guess this is FYI. Maybe someone else will have better luck with downloading their information. I hope you don't get stuck in the"prove yourself "loop.

By the way, here is the article that I mentioned in the beginning of this post. I would advise reading it:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/...nformation-that-facebook-has-on-me-yikes.html
I downloaded my FB info without problems months ago. Don't know what the issue is with your account.
 
Jan 8, 2019
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#4
Honestly, My post was more about the whole "prove you are who you say you are" process that doesn't appear to work. I imagine most people probably haven't been exposed to that. I have a phone number on file with them, so why couldn't they have used that as an option?

The first request was for the information was from my iPad, The second was from Chrome on windows 10, but I always clear my cookies/history when exiting Chrome, So no Facebook cookie existed at the time.

Maybe I will try again after I have logged into Facebook and used it for a bit. I just thought it was strange that FB told me (Paraphrased) "you are using a device that Appears to be a device that hasn't been used for this account before" Then the dreaded "prove you are who you say you are" page popped up. When I use Facebook, it's almost always from my iPad. So I have no solid idea why Facebook considers it a "device that I don't often use"

I'm usually using the app and there's no way to clear cookies from the app. For any technically minded folks, it appears that FB uses your IPv6 address ( if supported ) To track your device. My ISP, router and connected devices mostly support IPv6. Could be my router configuration cause some confusion to FB – – which is good as far as I'm concerned
 
Jan 8, 2019
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#5
If I'm not supposed to reply to my own post, apologies. However, the following is relevant to the entire post. I apparently fell into Facebook lockout h*ll again (no doubt because they are trying to "protect" me from me, I guess). This time I simply tried to change my phone number. Then I got this screen:
fb1.JPG
First off, I was on my Win10 laptop with Chrome. I use it for FB. I guess they ID me through tracking cookies or IP address so they can follow my interweb activities. Because I regularly clear much of this with the excellent "Click&Clean" plugin, I apparently am now on a computer they don't recognize anymore. That is my best guess as to why I keep getting the above screen. I don't have location turned on in FB or my laptop either.

So I click on "continue" and get this screen:
fb2.JPG
Note how it says "Chrome for Windows 10" with today's (1/8/19) date and time. That is (was) my current FB session. I was using Chrome when I got this message. NP, I went to Mobile Safari. I was presented with this screen again. And the same thing with Facebook for iOS. So I can't get unlocked this way because FB has locked all my other FB logins on other devices. Yet I am supposed to somehow use them to unlock er ("confirm identity"). It's crazy.

My next option is this (names redacted):
fb3.jpg
So I'm supposed to hassle my friends because the previous page's advice doesn't work. However, If I use this option, it doesn't work either. Facebook tells me the "pins" don't match, even though I have visual proof that they are the correct pins. I don't know of any other company that has this approach for account recovery and I've been using the internet back to the days of 1200 baud modems (yes,I am old). But I'm confident this approach allows FB to mine more useful user information (see the NY times article posted earlier in this thread). I don't buy that it is "better" or "more secure." Baloney.

But wait, there is a 3rd option:
fb5.JPG
Here I can send in a redacted drivers license or passport or other "acceptable" proof of ID. :rolleyes: At least they have the courtesy if you click on "continue" to remind you to remove confidential information from your ID. I did this twice and had my account restored.

I also received this (not) helpful email:
1546991603424.png
All this does is run me back through the process.

I am not a computer newb. Spent 30 years in high tech with a Masters in Information Systems, last 10 years as a CyberSecurity senior mgr. I know a broken set of processes when I see them. If FB can't do account recovery right, think about: How well are they managing your information?

FB's original motto was "“Move Fast And Break Things.” Ok, so now they have added a "Don't Break Things"
Can you imagine if a your bank, which probably has far less information about you than FB does, had a motto like that?

After dealing with this a couple of days, I found out that if I just wait a day, I'll be able to log back in, no need to send a photo. But this time, it will be something normal and expected like "we wanted to confirm you were making this change xxxx" and will list the change.

Maybe someone else will find this useful. I thought it was related to my access of my information download. Apparently, ANY significant change is flagged. For most people, this is probably not a big deal. It's only a guess, but because I keep my environment relatively clean (regularly cleaning cookies, history, temp files. Deleting unneeded processes and the like), FB doesn't track my devices. Not a bad thing when you think about it. ;).
 

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Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
1,141
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St Louis
#6
@Stevec you might want to get the execs involved. We have company contacts for Facebook located here. Chris has done a post on how to write here. Please read that prior to writing. I think someone's going to need to take a closer look at your account. I realize this may be frustrating but wait at least a week before escalating to the next level and explain what steps you've taken to get it resolved and what has/hasn't happened. Don't add attachments to your email as this may cause your email to be bounced or sent back as undeliverable. If you have attachments you can explain what you have but wait until requested.