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European Users Overwhelm Facebook With Data Requests

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the making-an-intern's-life-hell dept.

Facebook 214

An anonymous reader writes "If you've ever wondered how much personal data Facebook holds about you then prepare to be surprised. Using European data privacy laws, it's possible to request the data Facebook has stored about you. The document can total 800 pages covering everything from the expected name, address, and date of birth, right through to every event you've attended, every message you've deleted, and your political and religious views." The best part is that Facebook has to send a physical disc containing the data. This has been exploited by a number of users, completely overwhelming Facebook's ability to make the discs.

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214 comments

50+ Pages? Really? (2)

Commontwist (2452418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539470)

Hundreds of pages of tracking and logging every single user in that kind of detail?
And that's why I use Facebook as little as possible.

Re:50+ Pages? Really? (3, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539528)

But you use Google, right?

Re:50+ Pages? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539588)

Wouldn't Google be subject to the same law (EU directive)? Now that would be interesting.

Re:50+ Pages? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539694)

Wouldn't Google be subject to the same law (EU directive)? Now that would be interesting.

Yes, but it only applies to personally identifiable data i.e. something they can link to an actual person (though via a pseudonym should be enough) - stuff based on cookie ids and ip addresses won't apply. If they link that to a Google+ or youtube account though then that would do it.

Re:50+ Pages? Really? (4, Funny)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540418)

oh no, I would never use google or facebook for those reasons. I only trust the integrity of Microsoft web services

Re:50+ Pages? Really? (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539760)

And that's why I use Facebook as little as possible.

...or why we should not have Facebook accounts to begin with? I mean really, with their web bugs scattered all over the place, the only real way to win is not to play.

Re:50+ Pages? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539960)

Because even if you don't use FB, people will still post, and tag, pictures of you. Even if you're a grumpy old man -- your kids will do it. Hell, I'm probably doing it right now.

Re:50+ Pages? Really? (3, Insightful)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540080)

It's that surprising? Most people's status updates alone would take up dozens of pages.

Then of course you have your photos, videos, notes, message history, chat history, comments you've posted, tags you've received, events you've been invited to, groups you've joined, everything you've ever "liked"...

I imagine most people would be shocked to find out how many groups they're in, or how many posts, pages, or links they've "liked".

I thought.. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539482)

I thought there was a built-in option to download everything you ever said/did/uploaded in a zip? I remember seeing it, but never actually used it.

Re:I thought.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539530)

That option doesn't actually include everything, which is the point of the requirement to send out the CD's in the first place. If you delete a post or a message for example, it just becomes inaccessible to everyone -except- Facebook, the .ZIP download will exclude those messages while the CD's people are getting essentially have everything they've -ever- posted, and more still.

Re:I thought.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539668)

my experience was this was extremely lack luster.

i forget what i got but it was certainly not everything i'd ever posted (and not deleted)...

the zip totaled about 2mb, which i couldn't understand give then delay ( a couple of days) it took face to round everythign up.

maybe i'll send off for a CD =)

they could agree to send by non-CD (3, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539500)

What if my purpose in requesting the data about me isn't to help DDoS Facebook with a deluge of requests, but because I actually want to know what data Facebook's compiled on me. That is, after all, why the law exists in the first place, and it's not at all strange that someone might want to know that information.

If Facebook finds it expensive and inconvenient to mail out physical CDs, they could agree to allow at least optional delivery by other means, such as over the internet.

Re:they could agree to send by non-CD (5, Insightful)

DJLuc1d (1010987) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539582)

I'm pretty sure they do it this way for the same reason most rebates are still mail-in. They don't expect the user to actually do it out of inconvenience. If it was as simple as clicking a button on the internet, more people would be aware of how much data they actually collect.

Mailing a physical CD (2)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540522)

There might be a more nefarious reason for the physical mailings. You see, they might only have your expected name and address. Physical mailings will allow FaceBook to add your EXACT name and address to their database. If they didn't have it before, they surely have it now!

Re:Mailing a physical CD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540588)

That's why God invented PO boxes.

Re:they could agree to send by non-CD (4, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539678)

Which is really awesome up until someone manages to pretend they're you and get all of your data. At least shipping it on a disc to a physical address adds a few extra layers of inconvenience for the people who might otherwise attempt to do this. Considering how much information Facebook has on some people, that data falling into the wrong hands could do some serious damage to a person's life.

Hopefully there's some follow up from the people who have requested their data. It will be interesting to see how much stuff Facebook stores and all of the things that it knows that people would rather prefer it didn't.

Re:they could agree to send by non-CD (3, Informative)

admdrew (782761) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539982)

There is another means: https://www.facebook.com/settings [facebook.com] Click "Download a copy of your Facebook data." and follow the instructions.

Wrong, by an order of magnitude or several (4, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540238)

There is another means: https://www.facebook.com/settings [facebook.com] Click "Download a copy of your Facebook data." and follow the instructions.

Except that that only gives you the information that's currently accessible to you and other facebook users. It does not include the photos and posts you've "deleted" (but which facebook still stores). It certainly does not include the history of sites you've visited while logged into facebook, or any other tracking history which facebook has gathered and associated with your name. Think about it: facebook has at least an order of magnitude more information on you personally than you appear to think. All of it is used for customizing sales of your identity and your interests and so forth to facebook's customers (you're the merchandise, not a customer).

Re:they could agree to send by non-CD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539986)

If Facebook finds it expensive and inconvenient to mail out physical CDs, they could agree to allow at least optional delivery by other means, such as over the internet.

Sure! They'll post it as on a new user wall with the username UserTrepidityData.

Re:they could agree to send by non-CD (5, Insightful)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540074)

If Facebook finds it expensive and inconvenient to mail out physical CDs, they could agree to allow at least optional delivery by other means, such as over the internet.

If Facebook finds it expensive and inconvenient to mail out physical CDs, they could agree to simply not collect and store all that data.

There - fixed that for you!

Re:they could agree to send by non-CD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540576)

except that it's not expensive for them, the revenue that data generates fare exceeds the cost of sending CDs to everyone.

Re:they could agree to send by non-CD (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540780)

If Facebook finds it expensive and inconvenient to mail out physical CDs, they could agree to simply have the law changed.

FTFY to accord more with reality.

Spoiled Children...... (1, Insightful)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539520)

I just don't get this new attitude of spending the entire day complaining about Facebook. Personally, I don't use the site and last time I checked no was forcing these people to use the site either. From how that article is written they seem to be acting like a bunch of children who are just complaining just because they can.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539586)

You may not use Facebook, but that doesn't mean you're not on it. You may be in a picture, or mentioned in a comment somewhere by a friend. You can be tagged, at which point it's your full name, picture, (time-dependent) location, the activity you were engaged in (therefore hobbies or social activities), you are linked with others tagged in that photo and their hobbies, religions, political affiliations, relationships. Someone could mention that you were at the office party, at which point they know you work for the same company as $FBuser.

Don't assume that because you didn't create a profile yourself that Facebook doesn't have one anyway.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (1)

Cajunfiend (1930098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539810)

you can't be tagged if you don't have a facebook profile.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539900)

you can't be tagged if you don't have a facebook profile.

I am sure you can put people's names in(that arent on facebook) but its not proper tagging as its not unique.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539924)

what's to stop people from using your name in a comment on the photo? You don't need a facebook profile for that to happen...

Re:Spoiled Children...... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540352)

So?

This is a freedom that people have always had. You can't stop other people from talking about you, and you shouldn't be ABLE to stop them.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540340)

Yes you can. I see it all the time. I can't click on a name to go to a non-existent page, but your name is down there.

Re O nthere anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539962)

This is what finally convinced me to bite the bullet and get a FB account. There were pictures of me at events where I was tagged as being in them floating around Facebook. People were contacting me saying, "Hey, I saw you were at so-and-sos party." So chances are if you have any social life at all, you will be on FB whether you have an account or not.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539980)

yeah but they dont have a unique hash for you and without that they will never be reliably able to link you to anything because your name is non-unique.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (2)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540320)

Completely correct.

The same thing goes for Google: you may not have an account with them, but chances are they have a lot of your e-mail (people you correspond with use Google Mail). Use Google's search engine? They have your queries. If you post to Usenet, they have those posts, too. And I am sure they collect data through ads on non-Google sites, too. It is their stated mission [google.com] to "Googleâ(TM)s mission is to organize the worldâs information and make it universally accessible", and they're very good at it.

A lot of people don't realize, or vaguely know but don't quite grasp just how much of what they consider private is collected by companies like Google and Facebook. Asking for a copy of what they know about you and receiving several hundred pages in return really drives the point home.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540494)

This is why I don't use facebook, have any friends, or leave the house.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540574)

"You may not use Facebook, but that doesn't mean you're not on it. You may be in a picture, or mentioned in a comment somewhere by a friend."

Yep. I don't have a FB account and was getting e-mails from them asking me to join with a name and FB picture of a person they said I might know who is a member. And that person was a friend-of-a-friend I didn't know very well at all. In the fine print was a link I could click to opt out of getting further e-mail. I did and later wondered if I just gave them conformation a the social connection between us.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539728)

last time I checked no was forcing these people to use the site

apparently there's a new trend where companies like Spotify are requiring people to have facebook accounts to use certain services or get certain deals

Re:Spoiled Children...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539750)

last time I checked no was forcing these people to use the site

Now that is getting scary. HOW did you check on whether any of these people were being forced to use the site - how did you even get a list of all theirs names? Why do you carry out checks like that at all, and how often do you do it?

Re:Spoiled Children...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540146)

they seem to be acting like a bunch of children who are just complaining just because they can.

You just summed up 98% of reddit posts.

Re:Spoiled Children...... (5, Insightful)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540554)

This may not be a popular viewpoint, but I think it's a very relevant issue, and I do not use Facebook. I believe its very existence is an ethical issue though. Facebook represents a truly evil company, not in the unethical-business-practices sense, but a whole different order of that, I'd say they're rapidly approaching Gestapo-evil. Facebook stores enough information to learn a lot about specific individuals, and Facebook is conditioning people to give up their privacy. It might just be one of the most useful tools for an oppressive government or unethical intelligence organization to blackmail someone or, better, ruin their public image.

Facebook is not run by idiots. Those people know what they're doing, they know they're storing even "deleted" data and they know they're building very detailed profiles on every user. They also, unlike most of actual Facebook users, probably have the intelligence and foresight to imagine how it all may be used for horrible things, so there's no way I can see them as morally innocent.

What if you don't have a facebook account? (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539522)

I know, it is hard to fathom that anyone would not have an account, but I have intentionally avoided it myself. However since I do appear to be the only person left in the world who doesn't have one, there is bound to be something that someone who knows me has posted that relates to me.

Is it possible to request it? After all, if a user requests all the info that facebook as on them, and all they give them is the information that they posted, that is - to be kind - a very incomplete version of the data set.

Re:What if you don't have a facebook account? (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539572)

I know, it is hard to fathom that anyone would not have an account, but I have intentionally avoided it myself. However since I do appear to be the only person left in the world who doesn't have one, there is bound to be something that someone who knows me has posted that relates to me. Is it possible to request it? After all, if a user requests all the info that facebook as on them, and all they give them is the information that they posted, that is - to be kind - a very incomplete version of the data set.

How do you know which person you are getting the information on, without the unique login? So they can only give information on the person's userid and anywhere they are mentioned uniquely. tagged photos etc.. come to mind. Imagine trying to code the logic for anything else and make it correct.

Re:What if you don't have a facebook account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539666)

I'm pretty sure the law (specifically the Data Protection Act) doesn't care about those difficulties. I live in the UK and don't have a Facebook account either, but know lots of people who do (not to mention all the sites that integrate into Facebook that presumably set tracking cookies/log information), and I'm *extremely* tempted to ask Facebook what they know about me.

Re:What if you don't have a facebook account? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539932)

They can refuse to provide the information under a couple of circumstances, but none of them are "we don't want to" or "it's hard" (mostly "We've already published this or are about to" or "This would require disclosure of company/government secrets"). They can also charge you a nominal fee if it would take an excessive amount of time and/or effort to fulfil your request.

Re:What if you don't have a facebook account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539916)

You can easily be identified by your circle of contacts. Sure, there is room for error, but internet advertisers build profiles on you with less data.

Re:What if you don't have a facebook account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540406)

I don't have a facebook account, but they surely know a lot about me anyway. Not long ago someone "invited" me to join facebook, and in the email they sent to me they had a list of "other people I might know", including someone that I had met one time through a meetup.com event several years prior.

Re:What if you don't have a facebook account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539906)

I have never signed up to Facebook, but I was getting constant emails from them as if I had signed up. I assumed they had gotten my information from someone who tagged me or something. Anyways I contacted them and told them to delete all I formation about me, and they denied even having my email address. The emails stopped though. I live in Canada so maybe they were afraid of the privacy ramifications of admitting to collect peoples information or spam them without their permission.

Re:What if you don't have a facebook account? (4, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540284)

Well, we have the same laws here in Kanuckistan (PIPEDA), so that may have something to do with it. After all, Facebook's privacy headaches started when Jennifer Stoddard [priv.gc.ca] (the Kanuckistani Federal Privacy Commissioner) became the first to drag Facebook to the table and force Facebook into making privacy concessions (the Europeans followed soon after).

She was the first data protection authority in the world to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the privacy policies and practices of the popular social networking site, Facebook.

The provinces that have enacted similar enabling information also allow for you to request the data. In Quebec, for example, they have to *print it out*. That could get VERY expensive to print and send by mail. When the Journal de Montreal ran a full-page "coupon" that people could clip out, fill in and email to the federal govt requesting a copy of the Fed's "all-in-one-consolidate-all-govt-data-on-U" HRDC database, 29,000 people made the request, and HRDC ended up having to delete the database instead.

Re:What if you don't have a facebook account? (4, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539908)

Complaint 02 [europe-v-facebook.org] is about shadow profiles for non-users.

I don't see why you couldn't request it, except that you (going by your journal) are American, so the Irish/European data protection laws don't apply.

(It's interesting that the data is provided for free. British companies are allowed to make a "reasonable charge" for providing the personal data, which is almost always £10.)

Re:What if you don't have a facebook account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540906)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it's actually capped at a maximum of £10. Companies may choose to charge less (or provide the data for free) but, predictably enough, most don't.

Re:What if you don't have a facebook account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540258)

"However since I do appear to be the only person left in the world who doesn't have one"

Actually, there are two of us. (There might even be a third, possibly in the mountains of Appalachia or somewhere in Antarctica.)

Download Archive Option (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539538)

In the USA version, there is a link on the Account Settings page to "Download a copy of your Facebook data" that ostensibly creates an Archive of your data and sends you an email when it is ready. It's been a week .....

Re:Download Archive Option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539630)

That only gives you what you can see. This gives you every single thing that facebook has about you, every pic and deleted pic, every deleted email. They keep copies of everything even when you dont.

As for it being a week? Are you referring to how long it takes for Facebook to set up the .zip file for download? I did that two days ago and I got an email in about 45mins.

This is valuable (1)

Tweezak (871255) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539560)

OMG! My lost Farmville crop records!! Now I can honestly show my farming prowess and put it on my resume!

Re:This is valuable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539662)

Or show it to investors when you go to start your new farm?

Brilliant (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539564)

Step One: Use free service that you are in no way obligated to use.
Step Two: Complain about how the service records your usage of said free site
Step Three: Request a compilation of all data that you agreed to put on said free site
Step Four: ????
Step Five: UnProfit (for Facebook)

Re:Brilliant (2)

kenh (9056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539740)

You should add to Step One: "Use free servide that you are in no way obligated to use to track communication by you and your friends
And reword Step Two: "Complain about how the service records your communications on said free site

Re:Brilliant (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539942)

And in what way is that relevant?

Re:Brilliant (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540308)

Sorry, should have been clearer - the 'suggested' changes were to underscore that the point of facebook is to enable users to communicate in an asynchronus fashion, and the only way to do that is to record your communication, then to point out that when users complain about facebook storing all their communications they are actually complaining about the very purpose of facebook.

I meant to build on your thought, not tear it down - sory if my inartful approach offended.

(It's like a user uploading all their photos to flicker, then complaining that flicker is keeping their pictures...)

Re:Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540930)

Bad comparison. Facebook does not NEED to store deleted information to be able to allow communication between users. They do that for their own purposes. Flickr NEEDS to store the images to be able to serve them later.

Not only Facebook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539570)

I was unaware of this possibility.

So it's basically possible to request this from all entities which do business in Europe.

I wonder what Blizzard has stored about me.

Before the outrage gets too loud... (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539634)

Just remember everything, I mean EVERYTHING Facebook knows about you, those 800 pages of details, was input by either you or one of your "friends" - if you didn't want Facebook to have the info, you shouldn't have given it to them in the first place.

Re:Before the outrage gets too loud... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539768)

>EVERYTHING Facebook knows about you, those 800 pages of details, was input by either you or one of your "friends" - if you didn't want Facebook to have the info, you shouldn't have [i]any friends[/i]

FTFY

Re:Before the outrage gets too loud... (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539782)

if you didn't want Facebook to have the info, you shouldn't have given it to them in the first place.

To your friends?
That's easy enough on Slashdot ;-)

Re:Before the outrage gets too loud... (2)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539864)

if you didn't want Facebook to have the info, you shouldn't have given it to them in the first place.

To your friends?
That's easy enough on Slashdot ;-)

Yeah, just post it in an article, no one will read it. ;)

Re:Before the outrage gets too loud... (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540106)

This could well be the case, but are you sure? Can you say with certainty that Facebook does not use other data-collection methods? In the interest of micro-targeting ads, I could see them looking to external sources in order to piece together a more robust profile. You word your statement with a little too much authority.

Re:Before the outrage gets too loud... (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540598)

Perhaps, but all facebook "knows" is your email address - nothing else is verified. Sure, facebook could try and build a dossier from external sources based on your email address, but what value would that really hold when compared with the cost/effort involved.

The more likely answer is for facebook to track and analyze the data you and your friends enter - you/they gave it freely, and it is already on their servers.

I'll concede the wording issue - I was going for dramatic effect/hyperbole.

Well... (1)

cjcela (1539859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539646)

Maybe it is time to have something like this in the U.S.A. as well - a physical disk, or a printout is a good idea, since it involves some effort from the company stalking your online life. Data is money, people, and most of us are way liberal and generous with our own data. I would be curious about what information Google has on me. Facebook.... nah, I've figured them years ago and closed my account before it was late.

Facebook is actualliy gaining from this.. (2)

ghn (2469034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539688)

Funny how the Personal data request form actually collects even MORE personal information about requesters, such as (real) birth date, personal phone numbers and of course full mailing address, all information many people do not enter in their profile..

Re:Facebook is actualliy gaining from this.. (2)

2phar (137027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539780)

Not to mention govt issued ID:

Please upload a government-issued ID with signature to this report and ensure that your full name, date of birth, and photo are clear. You should also black out any personal information that is not needed to verify your identity (e.g., social security number). We will permanently delete your ID from our servers once we have used it for verification purposes.

Does the law really require that you have to provide this information in order to see your records.?

Re:Facebook is actualliy gaining from this.. (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539882)

The law requires you to verify your identity (Imagine if they allowed random people to request your personal information!). Facebook are however legally required to delete the information after they've processed the request.

Re:Facebook is actualliy gaining from this.. (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539914)

Does the law really require that you have to provide this information in order to see your records.?

Maybe not, but I imagine the law would really come down on them for releasing records to the wrong people. I see requesting government-issued ID as ass-coverage; if they release the wrong records to the wrong people now they can prove they made a reasonable effort to prevent it.

Re:Facebook is actualliy gaining from this.. (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539950)

I'm sure this is illegal in the UK. Classed a counterfeit.

Using the UK data protection act is easy, but it does cost a single pound for admin costs. I wouldn't be suprised if these requests were rejected for that alone.

Get someone else to sign the cheque too. Agencies have been know to take your signature, scan it, then print it back on a consumer credit agreement form.

Are you sure about that? (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539794)

every message you've deleted,

Are you sure this is legal in the EU?

Re:Are you sure about that? (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540148)

If they still have a copy of it, they're required to include it.

Databases often do a "lazy delete" - mark a single "deleted" bit that prevents it from showing up anymore. Only periodically will they compact the database, removing all the records that are marked for deletion. If they have plenty of storage they may never compact due to the required downtime during the process.

So if it's "deleted", but it's not really gone, they still have to give you a copy of it.

Grow up, people (4, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539876)

It takes a woefully naive person to use a service like Facebook for free and not expect that Facebook is collecting your data and somehow profiting from it.

Re:Grow up, people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540636)

You make it sound like profit requires total information collection and retention. Most people don't have a problem with companies offering the service and profiting from it. What they worry about is what and how much information is stored.

The biggest issue I've known people to complain about is retention of deleted information. People make mistakes and accidentally post information they want to keep private, or accidentally submit to the wrong account. They can delete it, but the companies remember and still use it.

I don't think doing this is a good thing (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37539912)

I don't think doing this is a good thing. A likely result is that companies will lobby for dilution of the law, probably something like having a legitimate need for the data. When companies really have something to hide they will use this, meaning that someone will have to use the old expensive procedure of going to court to show that they did have a legitimate need. The cost will put most people off and it will certainly delay all cases.

Re:I don't think doing this is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540052)

It being a summation of your online life for a lot of people seems to be a legitimate enough reason for me, but I haven't signed over my world to facebook, so maybe I don't understand

Re:I don't think doing this is a good thing (1)

he-sk (103163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540548)

Unlikely to happen, at least in Germany. Informational self-determination [wikipedia.org] has been a constitutional right since 1983. And today, in a speech [abendblatt.de] celebrating the 60th birthday of the constitutional court, the director of the court said that privacy and self-determination with regard to private actors (as opposed to the state) will become even more important in the future. These are significant hurdles for any law-maker or lobbying group to overcome.

If they don't honor a request I'll sue - they pay (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37539984)

I really really hope they don't honor my request in time - because they are bound by law to DO SO. If they don't, they commit a "Verwaltungsuebertretung" (special german legal term for a crime) and will have to pay a fine.

And they can be sure I'll see to that.

So - who exactly does Facebook sell this info to? (1)

wm_brant (960337) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540226)

While it is certain that Facebook sells the information they collect to advertisers, I was wondering if *governments* were some of Facebook's customers? By 'customer', I mean beyond the type of legal demand for information on a specific person, in relationship to a specific event.

I wonder - is it possible that some of the information collected by Facebook is collected at the request of one or more governments?

I'd wager that even if none of it is currently collected at the request of governments, that someday - probably in the not too far future - it will be...

Of course, that leads me to wonder if the fees that Facebook collects when it complies with information requests from governments are profitable to Facebook? *That* would be an interesting line item to add to their annual report!

Re:So - who exactly does Facebook sell this info t (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540416)

The CIA were reputedly linked closely with investors who supplied the second round of venture capital funding to Facebook. Google 'Facebook CIA' for research into this. Facebook does not necessarily need to sell information to governments if it is effectively a proxy government agency.

To all the "get lost and don't use it" smart-asses (1)

rainer_d (115765) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540264)

I got tons of "Connect to ... on Facebook" mails from people I don't even know because some friend/customer synced his addressbook with FB - with my address etc. in there.

I don't have an account on FB and never will.
But I'm tempted to fill out that form.

Gmail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540286)

I'm surprised nobody asked this question yet -- but is there an equivalent page for Gmail? (and other google services, for that matter)

It's going to take them some time (4, Informative)

andy.ruddock (821066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540304)

After making a request under the DPA I received the following :

Hi,

We have received your subject access request (the "Request").

Due to the volume of personal data access requests that we have recently received, we are experiencing significant delay in processing such requests. We therefore are unlikely to respond within 40 days of your initial request. We appreciate your patience and will respond as soon as possible.

We are presently refining our request response processes and approach to align the present high volume of access requests with the resources available to process these requests. We appreciate your patience and will respond as soon as possible.

Please be aware as well that we are not required to comply with any future similar requests, unless, in our opinion, a reasonable period of time has elapsed.

Again, we appreciate your patience and we will respond as soon as possible.

Thanks for contacting Facebook,
Facebook User Operations - Data Access Request Team

Re:It's going to take them some time (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540654)

Please be aware as well that we are not required to comply with any future similar requests, unless, in our opinion, a reasonable period of time has elapsed.

So this gives them an obligation to only send at most one CD per user. Not such a big deal I would say.

And they get your postal address in return for it.

Re:It's going to take them some time (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540820)

There's no 'you must comply within 40 days unless you're just too busy' exemption in the DPA, is there?

NowFacebook gets your postal address too? (2)

daveewart (66895) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540372)

What a great idea. About the only bit of personal information that most Facebook users haven't already given to Facebook is their postal address. Yet this process does just that.

Wouldn't surprise me if this "Annoy Facebook" thing was actually started by Facebook to harvest postal addresses. :-)

Not all data available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540482)

I tried the US version of "request your data" and it did NOt include every wall post. I know this for a fact because I then started deleting all of my wall posts and notifications, and every few days I'd clean my wall, new posts from farther back in time would appear. This went on for months, and none of these wall posts were in the file I downloaded. So I would be surprised if everything was on thar disc.

find you favourite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37540504)

oops,so much amazing http://www.infashion2011.com

This is very little (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540638)

The majority of it are just messages and logs, I think they have kept the juicy stuff for themselves.

Manchurian Candidatesa (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540686)

We are going to see political campaigns that are precisely targeted down to individual voters.

The next time you respond to a political pollster, you need to wonder whether or not the information it is seeking is individually targeted at you in an attempt to refine their database pertaining to you. Commercial and social data is just one more source of political information. The more detail the number-crunchers get, the more they will be able to predict your vote.

The candidates will then model their behavior on the data model that gets them sufficient votes to win.

The Directive (1)

Pinky3 (22411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540726)

There is no requirement that the data be sent on a CD.

Article 12
Right of access
Member States shall guarantee every data subject the right to obtain from the controller:
(a) without constraint at reasonable intervals and without excessive delay or expense:
- confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are being processed and information at least as to the purposes of the processing, the categories of data concerned, and the recipients or categories of recipients to whom the data are disclosed,
- communication to him in an intelligible form of the data undergoing processing and of any available information as to their source,
- knowledge of the logic involved in any automatic processing of data concerning him at least in the case of the automated decisions referred to in Article 15 (1);
(b) as appropriate the rectification, erasure or blocking of data the processing of which does not comply with the provisions of this Directive, in particular because of the incomplete or inaccurate nature of the data;
(c) notification to third parties to whom the data have been disclosed of any rectification, erasure or blocking carried out in compliance with (b), unless this proves impossible or involves a disproportionate effort.

You have to send a copy of your ID (2)

kiwix (1810960) | more than 2 years ago | (#37540886)

So, if I want to use this form [facebook.com] to request the information they have about me, I have to give them a postal address, a phone number, and a copy of a state issued ID. I'm not sure I'm willing to give them even more information, just to know that they store about me...
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