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Facebook Holding Back Personal Data

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the too-detailed-for-your-own-good dept.

Facebook 125

itwbennett writes "Facebook has reduced the amount of personal data it releases to users as required by European Union law. Due to the volume of requests since Europe v. Facebook began its campaign, Facebook is no longer sending CDs to people. Facebook said in a statement that the CD mailout 'contains a level of detail that is less useful for the average user — it is a much rawer collection of data.' Instead, users are now directed to a page where they can download their personal 'archive,' which according to Facebook is a copy of 'all of the personal information you've shared on Facebook.' But rather than the 57 categories of data early data requesters received, the new tool downloads just 22 categories."

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Damn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38070514)

Next thing ya know, niggers will hold back fried chicken!

And... first post!

Facebook sends CD's? (3)

Ken Broadfoot (3675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070544)

The fact that Facebook sends CD's to people never even knew. Is this a euro thing only?

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (5, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070740)

It comes from European privacy laws which the US doesn't have, allowing people to demand to see what information is being stored about them.

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (2)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071266)

Yes, I find it quite interesting that americans tent to complain about privacy the most, while enacting any laws concerning privacy isn't on their agenda...

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (5, Funny)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071392)

There is nothing inconsistant about it, silly. The only reason the Free Market hasn't already solved the problem is there are too many privacy safeguards!

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (5, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071562)

It took me a while to realise that "Free Market" was a synonym for "God" in America: always the right option; solves all problems; inherently moral to follow and immoral to restrict; if it seems to be going wrong then it must be either something else's fault or a means to an end which we are not worthy to understand; etc.

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071606)

Whatever you just said makes no sense. - Americans

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071626)

too many words?

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071824)

Too large of words.

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072206)

Too many syllables? Ringo Starr

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072498)

Too large of words?

What the fuck does that even mean? What, is that some sort of British archaism or something? Speak real English like Americans do: "Words that are too large."

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071840)

Yes, it’s a delusional belief. Something quite prevalent in the US. So it's not “god” but the same thing. If you know what I mean.

I realized a second thing: "Free market" also seems to mean "100% completely free". But that would mean freedom from all laws too, wouldn't it? How is this different from the law of the jungle and the right of the strongest then? And how is this not the opposite of democracy, where everybody has equal rights?
(I wonder if they just would call democracy "socialism" then, for trying to make things equal...)

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (1)

rmstar (114746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071926)

I realized a second thing: "Free market" also seems to mean "100% completely free". But that would mean freedom from all laws too, wouldn't it? How is this different from the law of the jungle and the right of the strongest then?

You must be a communist!!1!

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072636)

Perhaps not but he's certainly no economist either. I guess you people have your vocabulary and we have ours. Just like you don't want a priest or a pope talking science maybe it's best you don't talk economics.

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072984)

I realized a second thing: "Free market" also seems to mean "100% completely free". But that would mean freedom from all laws too, wouldn't it? How is this different from the law of the jungle and the right of the strongest then? And how is this not the opposite of democracy, where everybody has equal rights? (I wonder if they just would call democracy "socialism" then, for trying to make things equal...)

Well, who do you think promotes such a belief? The rich and powerful of course! The ones who think they'd be at the top of any socio-economic food chain. And yes, a completely free market would be quite opposed to democracy. But again, look who is promoting the idea. The rulers always want the rabble to have as little influence as possible.

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (2, Insightful)

dlcarrol (712729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072766)

You've not realized as much you've thought then, my friend. Though, it is also true that most Americans haven't, either.

Rather than address the caricature ("crony capitalism"), I'll keep it simple: the free market is nothing more (or less) than a statement that groups of people are both untrustworthy (as individuals and in groups) and yet the only means of efficiently measuring the desires of other people.

So on two points the free market is held up in opposition-- not to government (in se), but to "Statism": (1) that all transactions should be done without violence and (2) central planning necessarily fails to accurately predict (a) pricing or (b) goods and quantities (as a function of failed pricing analysis). (1) is violated when the state compels one to (a) not do something one otherwise wants or (b) do something one would not otherwise do. (2) was largely proven by Mises, and does not imply that private entities are superior at the analysis or prediction, only that they care more due to the profit/loss requirements.

"Statism" looks to government as its god in the same way you broadly accuse Americans of looking to the idol of "Free Market". Us Paleo-Conservative minarchists (new word for the day) don't want government abolished-- we already agree we need it because evil exists, we just want it to operate in its proper sphere.The very crony capitalism/corporatism you despise is a function of the a state failure, not a market failure. You want a solution? It's not "Regulation" that's the answer, it's "Enforcement." We don't need any new laws, quotas, procedures, or double-check overhead to know that bad stuff gets done, and such things NEVER catch it beforehand. What we need is for our executive branches (not digging at POTUS, just the entire "law enforcement" segment of government) to have the stones to throw the cronies in jail. Don't blame the market for failures at the governmental level, and don't look to the already-failing bureaucrat for a solution

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (1)

Calgary Computer (1967696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072798)

I agree. We are not supposed to question what our country is doing. But I would like to see what information Facebook is collecting on us.

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (2)

Ixne (599904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072182)

The problem is that the legislative body becomes deadlocked on just about anything they debate and thus "free market" decides. Unfortunately, Free Market is essentially Mob Rule. And the mob are idiots. Legislative body isn't much better.

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072250)

It may not be on most people's agenda, but it certainly is mine. People just don't understand or appreciate their privacy in the US. It's so sad.And in the facebook age kids are being raised to expect no privacy.

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (4, Interesting)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073028)

Yeah, I remember debates on Slashdot and other forums 10 and 15 years ago about privacy and such. The mindset then was one of hyper-attentiveness to privacy. Absent legislation, companies didn't need to make any changes, and really, reduced even the expectation of privacy from their users. Then a new generation came onto the internet who never even contemplated a world without all this intrusive technology, and like that, the privacy battle was lost.

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070834)

But I want all cookies Facebook has about me too!

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071504)

"The fact that Facebook sends CD's...?"

After all, it's the new AOL.

Re:Facebook sends CD's? (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072898)

>> Facebook sends CD's to people...?

Yes, this is more evidence that Facebook is the AOL of this decade.

But I must give free reign to my inner narcissist! (2, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070550)

What did people THINK was going to happen when they signed up for Facebook and effectively dropped trou to the universe?

And expecting the grubby little data miners to play fair with people who they're making money off of?

Pfft! Yeah. What world are YOU from?

There's one solution to the problem of Facebook belching your data to whoever pays them their pound of flesh.

DON'T FUCKING SIGN UP FOR FACEBOOK IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070660)

What did people THINK was going to happen when they signed up for Facebook and effectively dropped trou to the universe?

And expecting the grubby little data miners to play fair with people who they're making money off of?

Pfft! Yeah. What world are YOU from?

There's one solution to the problem of Facebook belching your data to whoever pays them their pound of flesh.

DON'T FUCKING SIGN UP FOR FACEBOOK IN THE FIRST PLACE!

With most people, that kind of obvious realization breaks down the moment having some control over their own life involves denying oneself a convenience that is dangled in front of them like bait. The form of the convenience could be the service itself that Facebook offers. It could be (for most anyway) failure to bear the always rewarding but sometimes heavy burden of being a real individual, such as having to explain to friends that you have good reason not to use the site even if they would prefer to contact you with it. Of course a real friend would understand and respect that and not demand (by acting hurt, annoyed, etc) that you conform to their example for something so optional, but judging from the way most people talk about bandwagon appeals and peer pressure it seems most people think this kind of manipulation is normal and legitimate.

It's the same reason most boycotts don't get off the ground. The moment people would have to make do without a luxury or prepare something themselves instead of having it pre-packaged or some other test of their commitment to principle, they cave. It doesn't matter what the company has done to make itself unworthy of continued patronage. It's most unfortunate but the masses of people are pushovers who won't take a stand for much of anything unless they feel (correctly or not) that their back is against a wall.

I suppose most of you reading this think it's a good thing that government intervenes to regulate Facebook. If this were food safety or building construction or some other thing that is a matter of life-and-death, where great damage could be done before any reason for a user/customer to suspect a problem has manifested, then I would agree with you. As it stands now with Facebook, I say that the moment you interfere with this process and shelter this kind of spinelessness is the moment you prevent the character growth of those who are badly in need of a lesson. I know it looks like a nice thing to do but that's short-term thinking; in the long run it makes the problem worse.

Those who have a clue, care about privacy, and make their own decisions avoided Facebook from the beginning. The rest are making their beds and should not be prevented from laying in them.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38070724)

Do you have similar position against the spineless cowards who chose to work for demeaning bosses instead of starve to death? Do you take a similar position against unions? This is absurd: people are allowed to organize. Through the government. Please do not oppose good actions the government takes--just limit it to the bad.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070778)

Please do not oppose good actions the government takes--just limit it to the bad.

Ticket Status: Deferred

If/When the government gets to a point where it can take good actions, instead of (maliciously OR incompetently) horrible ones, we will revisit your request.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070872)

So, ALL current government actions are bad? Or is it a single flaw in your mindset that this would be the case?

But perhaps I misinterpreted your post and you were making a joke on the Tea-party level of thinking but spoiled it by using too eloquent words.

Bert

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (2)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070952)

So, ALL current government actions are bad?

No, just the ones OUR government have elected to take, in recent memory. Admittedly, there might be an anomaly hidden in the noise, but I'm pretty sure that if it's not a blatant power/money grab, then we can count on it to be a total clusterfuck (often turning into a power/money grab, a la the healthcare bill).

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071444)

Sometimes I wonder, are some people really so utterly stupid as to believe that a few overblown anomalies that get plastered all over the news for their high sell value are actually norm, and the myriad of normal actions taken by government that have no news value because they do exactly or close to exactly what they are supposed to do are anomalies.

Then we have a poster like one above, and my belief in humanity dies a little more.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

GauteL (29207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072258)

"Sometimes I wonder, are some people really so utterly stupid as to believe that a few overblown anomalies that get plastered all over the news for their high sell value are actually norm, and the myriad of normal actions taken by government that have no news value because they do exactly or close to exactly what they are supposed to do are anomalies."

Many people have a vested interest in believing everything the government does is bad. It helps prop up their anti-tax anti-regulations beliefs and helps them justify privatisation of everything and removal of all social benefits.

After all, if everything the government does is bad, it is pointless giving them any money at all, and any money spent by the government is a waste.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072424)

Sometimes I wonder, are some people really so utterly stupid as to believe that a few overblown anomalies that get plastered all over the news for their high sell value are actually norm, and the myriad of normal actions taken by government that have no news value because they do exactly or close to exactly what they are supposed to do are anomalies.

Apparently so. Right wing movements with pre-digested news are popular here in the US, precisely because you don't have to think much when you follow populists like Ron "Dr. No" Paul.
Blame politicians who are always corrupt, unlike the businessmen who only have your best interest at heart.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070804)

As it stands now with Facebook, I say that the moment you interfere with this process and shelter this kind of spinelessness is the moment you prevent the character growth of those who are badly in need of a lesson. I know it looks like a nice thing to do but that's short-term thinking; in the long run it makes the problem worse.

You mean... like... until it becomes a felony to break the FB's TOS and create a pseudonymous account?

Those who have a clue, care about privacy, and make their own decisions avoided Facebook from the beginning. The rest are making their beds and should not be prevented from laying in them.

Hmmm... I can see other ends if this goes unchecked... like until it will be a felony not to have a FB account? By peer-pressure initially and eventually by the law of the land (that land of the home and free of the brave)?

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (2)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071044)

Not having a Facebook account interferes with interstate commerce by preventing advertisers from accessing data about your personal life. It is now mandated that all US citizens have a Facebook account and post regularly on it.

The above might be assumed to be an absurdity, but the logic behind it is an argument the DoJ is currently arguing before the Supreme Court. Congress already has had the authority to prevent personal use and consumption upheld. They can fine farmers for producing any crop for personal use. The first controlling case regarding that interpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause was not even drug-related; it was about growing wheat for personal consumption (Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)). Soon, they'll be able to fine people for failure to purchase a product. With current case law, there will be no limit to that power, even if the use of it is currently voluntarily limited to the single issue at hand. It will be expanded.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071010)

For people of a certain age, virtually all of their friends use Facebook as a primary means of communication. In other words, not using Facebook means social isolation. That's not a particularly worthwhile tradeoff, nor is it even a guarantee of privacy. You don't need an account on Facebook for people to post things about you. I have friends who post tons of photos of their young children and the funny things their children say.

In other words, let's say that you don't have a FB account, yet somehow still manage to find out about a party. Is it still possible for FB to learn of your attendance at said party and your amusing (yet seemingly private) actions at said party? Yes, because anybody at the party can post a photo of you at the party to FB and put your name on it.

dom

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071762)

In other words, not using Facebook means social isolation

Oh shit, you mean standing up for your ideals might involve some mild inconvenience? Well fuck that!

That's not a particularly worthwhile tradeoff

But if three or four of you do it then your other friends will not be able to rely on Facebook for communication within the group. So they'll start using other mechanisms, and eventually Facebook just fades into the background as 'that thing I can use for communicating with a few of my friends' and their usage starts to drop too and Facebook becomes a passing fad, rather than a dominant communication mechanism. Or you can just say 'well everyone else is doing it' (which, after all, was such a good excuse every other time it was used) and sign up.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072026)

Or you can just say 'well everyone else is doing it' (which, after all, was such a good excuse every other time it was used) and sign up.

"Why are you dropping Facebook?"

"Well, everyone else is doing it..."

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (2)

mjr167 (2477430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072852)

Or get better friends...

If your friends do not respect you enough to respect your privacy, then they are not your friends. They are people using you for their own entertainment and you need to wake up and stand up for yourself.

If you know your friends are going to be disrespectful and post stupid pictures of you on Facebook and this bothers you, don't do the stupid things you don't want appearing on Facebook in front of them. How is it different from your friends running around telling everyone that you are an idiot? They could take that photo and publish it in a newspaper without the help of Facebook. Because they can reach more people faster? Because it is archived forever? The high school yearbook is also forever. People's memories are also forever. The idea that you would want to turn back time and remove all evidence of an activity just because it is now inconvenient is ludicrous. It happened. You did it. Now you have to live with it. You may regret it, but you cannot turn back time. You cannot undo the past. Take responsibility for your actions and conduct your way in a manner that your mother would be proud of. All the time. And when you screw up, accept responsibility and deal with the consequences like an adult.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073114)

In other words, let's say that you don't have a FB account, yet somehow still manage to find out about a party. Is it still possible for FB to learn of your attendance at said party and your amusing (yet seemingly private) actions at said party? Yes, because anybody at the party can post a photo of you at the party to FB and put your name on it.

This is correct, and I don't understand (ok, well I sorta do) why more people don't consider this a problem. At a time when employers, law enforcement, intelligence agencies and ex-girlfriends are combing Facebook, etc. looking for wrongdoing, I value my privacy more than ever. I don't have a problem with my picture happening to show up on someone's website. What I don't like is all the linking, tagging, archiving and connecting. I don't feel a need to help someone build a profile of me and my life for their own purposes.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073172)

Yeah. As someone who grew up in Massachusetts, and mostly remained there until i was in my late 20's, that's where my friends and family are. Nowadays, I live in Florida and find that Facebook is a great way to stay in contact with everyone up there. So, despite my earlier postings of waning privacy, tossing my privacy aside in order to stay in touch with family and friends is something I've thought through and decided is appropriate to do.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

mishu2065 (1616553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072774)

I suppose most of you reading this think it's a good thing that government intervenes to regulate Facebook. If this were food safety or building construction or some other thing that is a matter of life-and-death, ...

Except that the European law applies to all companies handling any kind of personal information. If it weren't for the law, you would have even less control of the personal information stored about you.

And while you don't list privacy among the list of most important things to you, some people would. Quality of life is pretty important too.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070668)

Or, you know, just give them inconsequential minutiae.

Any communication I have on there is pretty much worthless anyway, because I don't put anything important or private on facebook.

It is possible to use it without posting pictures of that time you were passed out, naked and drunk, in the fountain in the town square...

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070940)

But those are the pictures my friends want to see!

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071302)

What if all you ever get up to is passing out, naked and drunk, in the fountain in the town square... ?

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072024)

There's no such thing as "worthless information" when it comes to true information. Even posting about your breakfast meal can be valuable and somehow used against you. Some people post random stuff on Facebook first thing in the morning - a silly status update or something. Well there may be no 'private' information there, but it tells me what time you wake up every single day.
It gets worse. Facebook knows what time you log in and from which device. They can track you without any trouble. They know when you are home or at work. This "work is so boring, can't wait to go home" update you posted tells them which IP address belongs to your workplace. Any employee at Facebook could access this information and use it against you. Piss off the wrong person (i.e. somebody with access to that info) and they will dig dirt on you and possibly stalk you.
Do you plan to go far in your career? Maybe start your own business, become important one day? Maybe you'll end up competing with an employee from Facebook or Zuckerberg himself. Are you sure they will never be tempted to go public about these status updates and other postings you made that show you had serious problems in your marriage? Do you trust they could never try to portray you badly - perhaps as emotionally unstable, lazy, depressed or angry - should they end up in competition or conflict with you?

The only worthless information is false information. If you want to disrupt Facebook, post fake stuff. Do random Google searches too (you think Google doesn't store your search habits and your IP address?). Then they can't tell apart the truth from the lies.
And if you fear they might dig dirt against you, then post your own fake dirt and make sure other people know you post fake dirt. When the real dirt comes out, you can deny it and nobody will believe Facebook (or any other company).

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072088)

Some people post random stuff on Facebook first thing in the morning

I don't

Facebook knows what time you log in and from which device.

So does slashdot!

This "work is so boring, can't wait to go home" update you posted tells them which IP address belongs to your workplace.

I browse through a tunnel to home. Besides which, my employer lists my name in their public directory and has a class A. (I'm sure you've deduced who they are, I obviously do not speak for them in anything I say here, standard disclaimer)

Are you sure they will never be tempted to go public about these status updates and other postings you made that show you had serious problems in your marriage?

Now that doesn't really come under pointless minutiae now does it?

Do you plan to go far in your career?

It's already pretty good, thanks, I'm sure it'll continue to progress slowly.

Maybe start your own business, become important one day?

I may start my own business, perhaps. But I have better things to do with my life than "become important" however you see that.

Besides which - http://xkcd.com/137/ [xkcd.com]

Do you trust they could never try to portray you badly - perhaps as emotionally unstable, lazy, depressed or angry - should they end up in competition or conflict with you?

I honestly don't care. I *am* frequently lazy, angry, depressed and unstable. Those things would be true.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070728)

there's several solutions, the best of both worlds being sign up but DON'T OVERSHARE.

don't "like" stuff, make no reference to products or specific activities in your status updates, etc. just post with the knowledge that anything you say can and will be sold to the highest bidder.

as happens on every site that requires login. even posting as AC will still log your IP and correlate it with whatever the cookie can grab hold of.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072364)

That's not a practical solution.
If you log in to Facebook every morning, even if you don't post anything they'll know when you wake up. If you log in when you arrive at work, they know your work schedule. Etc.

The best option is to post fake information. Drown the real among the fake and the real loses value. And let people know about the fake info you post, that way, should Facebook ever go public with dirt on you, your relatives will know not to believe the dirt and you will even have people who can testify that you are known to post fake dirt about yourself therefore none of it is true.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (5, Informative)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070988)

Irrelevant.

Here in the EU, you're the owner of your data. You have the right to request from any company that has personally identifiable data on you for any reason, to request it to be corrected, or to request it to be deleted.

There are also limits on how the information can be used.

Compliance with this isn't optional. There are big sanctions for not complying with the requirements, which go as high half a million Euro for the "very grave" category in some countries. And since at least where I am, the agency is self-financed, they're quite keen on collecting those.

Don't like it? Don't do business in the EU.

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071268)

If you don't want to adhere to EU privacy laws, don't do business in the EU. What is so difficult in that?

Re:But I must give free reign to my inner narcissi (0)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071960)

Oh look kids, another delusional soul who still think Facebook only spies on registered users!

Do you see those Facebook buttons everywhere? I don't know how's the situation right now, but just a few months ago they were creating these little cookies with IDs even if you didn't have an account (like I don't). Which means they could log each and every site you went to and create a single profile from it.

So please shut the fuck up the next time, yes?

I was a Faceplant junkie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38070566)

I was a Faceplant junkie but I've been clean now for almost a year. I still twitch a bit when I see farmyard animals, but I'm okay.

And... (1)

cornholed (1312635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070642)

how many data points do they have that make up 57 categories of data, and how many are excluded?

This is information you gave them. (1, Insightful)

pwileyii (106242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070652)

With a few exceptions, this is all data that you GAVE to Facebook willingly. This isn't like a credit reporting agency having information on you they got from other sources. You gave them everything they have and now you are upset they have it or won't tell you exactly what you gave them? Seems a bit silly to tell a secret to someone that you don't trust...

Re:This is information you gave them. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38070688)

You are ignoring the fact that others can tag and post about you. You do not control the actions of all of your Facebook friends.

Re:This is information you gave them. (0)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070738)

no i'm not. I choose my friends carefully and maintain damage control (not that this has been necessary yet).

Re:This is information you gave them. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071186)

What about their friends and their friends of friends and assorted hanger-ons? There are some things damage control can't cover. If I'm gonna be caught with a small mountain of blow and and a dead transvestite named Chastity in my bed, then I'd rather it all stay small-town and not get plastered all over the world. Just to be clear - that has absolutely never happened to me. Her name was Lucy.

Re:This is information you gave them. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071512)

I'm not using facebook, I have no account, but still they're collecting data about me.

Re:This is information you gave them. (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071420)

And you are ignoring that you can turn up approval for all mentions of you before going to your wall.

Once someone do something bad about you, you will have the chance to do not approve the post (on your wall, you cant do nothing about the other's walls) and file a complain.

Re:This is information you gave them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073122)

Yes but what about this scenario:
Alice and Bob are friends. Alice is very private about what she puts on Facebook, Bob posts everything. Alice and Bob and a load of their friends go out one Friday night. Saturday (Sunday?) morning Bob posts on his Wall that he had a great time on Friday with Alice and all their friends. Alice declines to be tagged in this post but everyone else does. Bob then posts a load of photos from Friday night and tags everyone in them. Again Alice declines the tags but at this stage Facebooks data mining algorithms can logically assume that Alice was out on Friday and that is her in the photos but she doesn't want to be tagged. Although Facebook doesn't make this info public (with the tags) it still logs the information internally. And that's without even going near image processing algorithms.

The worry isn't about some other person "out to get you", it's about how Facebook is gathering information and what they're doing with it. Although you voluntarily sign up for the service it does not give them carte blanche to do whatever they want. They have a history of changing privacy policies without warning and being secretive about what they do with their information. What happens if in the future they disable this feature and suddenly make all information about all their members public?

Re:This is information you gave them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073186)

http://scamstop.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/what-not-to-put-on-facebook/

http://scamstop.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/emma_kiernan_facebook.jpg

This is the very situation you are writing about as regards bob abd alice.

Re:This is information you gave them. (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070698)

I agree. I use facebook responsibly (I think), and i'm more pissed that I can't get the dirt on others, than I am pleased that my own small blemishes are "protected". it's in quotes because of course they're still accessible to Them, just not us.

Re:This is information you gave them. (1)

epistemology (697458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072474)

Not to feed a troll, but your sigs a lie.

Re:This is information you gave them. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38070700)

In many cases, it's difficult to know exactly what you're giving facebook. Did you know that facebook tracks every profile you visit?

Re:This is information you gave them. (0)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070746)

i'm not surprised, and I don't really care.

Re:This is information you gave them. (4, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070706)

It seems probable that most users underestimate what information Facebook is collecting about them.

http://lifehacker.com/5843969/facebook-is-tracking-your-every-move-on-the-web-heres-how-to-stop-it [lifehacker.com]

Re:This is information you gave them. (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070752)

a mild concern.

Re:This is information you gave them. (4, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070742)

Bullshit. At a given moment in time, with rules A I give facebook permission to collect that data. Then they change the rules and now I want to see for myself they are working within the law... If facebook has a problem with that, Facebook shouldn't be 'servicing' under our laws... simple as that. It's facebook that is being bad, not the client that has every right to know what is being kept from them is asking for that information. Facebook has a choice not to be in EU market you know. They have to keep to our laws. It's not the responsibilty of the user.

Re:This is information you gave them. (2)

fezzzz (1774514) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070792)

I am more concerned about the information they have about me that I did not give me. A friend of mine recently registered a new user and the first thing Facebook asks is if she knew these people. A list of friends and family of her. How did Facebook get this information?

Re:This is information you gave them. (3, Informative)

Plunky (929104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071084)

A friend of mine recently registered a new user and the first thing Facebook asks is if she knew these people. A list of friends and family of her. How did Facebook get this information?

They deduce it. Similar names, similar locations, similar employment workplaces and similar school history. This provides possible links to several people in their database, and when several of those people have a network of interrelations, they can just ask if you know the most probable ones. As soon as she answers 'yes' or 'no' then facebook know stuff about her that is not deduction, but they can deduce more..

Re:This is information you gave them. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071794)

A few ways. The simplest one is that those people provided that person's email address. If multiple people did, they can look at mutual friends. They can use their tracking cookie to see which public Facebook pages the new person has visited, including groups (and assume that they know members of those groups). They can do the same thing for any site with a like button - if the site is related to some event or club, then they can assume that you know people who are in that club.

You can infer a huge amount of information with a little bit of pattern recognition and fuzzy matching. Facebook just has to be approximately correct, and the sheep will happily fill in the blanks for them...

Re:This is information you gave them. (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073340)

The people Facebook suggested uploaded their address books to Facebook, and once she created her account, Facebook already had those users with her email address in their address book, so it just showed her those people, as well as maybe some mutual friends those people shared.

Re:This is information you gave them. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070820)

People change their mind and are entitled to be able to delete that data. Facebook also fails to ensure minors are prevented published UN-authorised images of other minors. Facebook also fails to warn people of the consequences of uploading information, like warning we could sell this to your employer, warning employment agencies reference this web site etc.

Also this reaches beyond facebook and it is interesting how other more socially advanced locales are doing more to protect the rights of individuals rather than protect corporate profitability.

Re:This is information you gave them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38070912)

The general assumption is of course that we are sharing peronal stuff with friends, not Facebook inc.

Re:This is information you gave them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072604)

Imagine going out for a drink with friends and later finding out that the bar you were at recorded your conversation. You know, just in case the authorities or marketers came asking for it. I guess they would have let you know they were going to do that in the EULA though.

Re:This is information you gave them. (4, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070966)

There is a lot more info they have about you, that you didn't give them voluntarily.

Facebook cookies track your movements on third-party web sites. Until recently logging off from Facebook did not help (reported extensively on /. over the last months).

Facebook tries to recognise and automatically tag people in other people's photos: you're in your friend's photo, are tagged automatically or by that friend, and another bit of information about you becomes available to Facebook and it's out of your control.

You may be mentioned (tagged) in a friend's comment. Again you didn't volunteer that information about you to Facebook, someone else does, and you don't have control about it.

You can not delete comments or photos. Many people think they can as there is a "delete" function, but all it does is hide this information from you and other users. It's not gone as in deleted, it's merely hidden, and is still there.

You can not close and delete your account. You can't even close it afaik.

All this info on Facebook is there forever, out of your control. And the last part is maybe the most damning of all. There is no control over your own data on Facebook. They pretend to give you some (by allowing "delete") but in reality they don't (it's not deleted). They collect info about you that is not given by you, instead it's collected automatically and is info that is about things you do outside of Facebook. Those things should worry people. It is not about the info you put in your profile, it's not about what you write yourself in your comments or the photos you post yourself, not even about the external links in friend's messages that you click. It's the rest of the information that's gathered in the background, unknown to you, out of your control.

Re:This is information you gave them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072184)

In short, Zuckerberg has developed a way to stalk 750million people all at the same time

Worlds biggest creep?

Re:This is information you gave them. (1)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072734)

>>You can not close and delete your account. You can't even close it afaik.

Yes, you can...or at least they will provide the illusion that it's closed/deleted.

Here's a link to the "Delete Facebook" group containing instructions and further details. I started the deletion process myself yesterday, and as long as I don't log in for 14 days, FB claims it will be permanently deleted. Of course I don't believe for a millisecond that my personal content will actually BE deleted.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16929680703 [facebook.com]

Re:This is information you gave them. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071314)

Totally irrelevant. It doesn't matter where the data came from, or how it was collected. If you hold personal data on a person, you are legally required to provide it to that person on request. All of it. There's no exception for data that the person gave you willingly, there's no exception for data that's "less useful for the average user", and there's no exception for "data that would reveal our trade secrets", which is the excuse Facebook used for withholding some data the last time.

This is nothing to do with making data more useful for the average user, it's about cutting costs, and breaking both the spirit and the letter of EU law as much as possible while attempting to look helpful and hoping that nobody notices.

Re:This is information you gave them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072548)

EU law doesn't presuppose that all companies store all data supplied to them forever. It also doesn't presuppose anything about the data sources companies use. And finally it doesn't presuppose that companies are competent about maintaining that data (and they aren't! I once had to go to a bank I'd been doing business with for over a year to ask why they'd suddenly starting getting my first name wrong).

We have the right to ask a company to tell us what data it's holding about us; to check it and require any inaccurate data to be corrected; and to require it to be deleted if no longer needed. Interestingly, we also have the right "to object free of charge" to the processing of personal data relating to us "for the purposes of direct marketing" or the right "to be informed before personal data are disclosed for the first time to third parties or used on their behalf for the purposes of direct marketing". I'm not sure whether anyone's tried that one with Facebook yet, and I haven't checked whether the Irish implementation of the directive (which is the relevant implementation, since FB have based their European operation in Ireland for legal purposes) would allow you to force Facebook to require explicit permission for each third party "partner" they want to share your data with.

Re:This is information you gave them. (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073242)

Some you give willingly. Other stuff, not so willingly. For instance if you're logged into your account and leave facebook to view another site, and that site has put a "Like" button on their page, guess what? The like button phones home and facebook knows what sites you've been visiting, without you consciously providing them that information.

To me, that's a lot more damaging to having any remaining shred of privacy than what we've each actively provided it (by posting text or pictures, etc). And it's not about information you gave them. It's about ancillary information that they linked back to you, without you clearly giving them approval to do so. Different story.

related question: (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070818)

does slashdot offer a SELECT COMMENTS FROM ARCHIVE WHERE UID=xxx type service?

i've been posting here for awhile, and i am a narcissist

Re:related question: (1)

JRowe47 (2459214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070884)

slashdot.org/~circletimessquare

Re:related question: (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070892)

No I mean all time, not just the last few comments

Re:related question: (2)

JRowe47 (2459214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070930)

You can press the "Many More" button - setting up a script to get all of them is trivial with greasemonkey, and even more trivial if you spend a bit of time clicking. There doesn't appear to be another way of getting at posts, but all of them seem available, and all of them are easy to get at. I suppose you could also deconstruct whatever call is pulling the posts and try to get them all in one go.

Re:related question: (3, Informative)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070984)

Or, go to your account options, go to the Discussions "tab" and for "Retrieve [ ] Messages" option select "Many" then it will retrieve all of them providing you are logged in.

Re:related question: (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072750)

Subscribers can see full comment history.

Um, hang on. (0, Flamebait)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071096)

In other news, Facebook replaces an unnecissarily obtuse CD mailout service with a download service that sounds pretty useful. Has anyone here even bothered to mail out for your CD? Now you can download it, export it, do whatever you want with it.

All at the expense of some tracking information that can't really tell you anything about your own browsing habits than you already know, it's not like they're compelled to give their analysis of that data, simply what pages you refreshed when. If they correlate that to find you tend to search for ponography featuring chubby women after visiting your cousin's profile, that's their information, not yours.

Re:Um, hang on. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071144)

"All at the expense of some tracking information that can't really tell you anything about your own browsing habits than you already know, it's not like they're compelled to give their analysis of that data, simply what pages you refreshed when. If they correlate that to find you tend to search for ponography featuring chubby women after visiting your cousin's profile, that's their information, not yours."

Sorry, but you're completely wrong on that as far as the EU is concerned. The legal definition of personal information is quite clear. "Information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person".

That's one of the key aspects of EU Data Protection law. It is precisely the act of "correlation" that the law is intended to control.

Open door for hackers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071240)

I do not like this option to download my entire facebook history. This makes is much easier for someone to hack into the system and obtain all kinds of private information. With the emphasis on 'too easy'!

"Liked" +1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071244)

i just "liked" this page/article for my facebook profile.
peace out slashdooters.

The archive file is really small... (1)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071360)

I did that on an account which spans May 2009 to Nov 2011 and it only weighed 319KB. It's all HTML based. No JPG. Ok, now on to permanently deleting my account...

We cannot tell anything without seeing sample data (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071366)

We cannot tell anything without seeing sample data. The 22 categories might be fine and compliant with the law. It seems to me that a lot of the data in the 57 categories was over and above personal data as defined in the data protection act. What's the point of giving encrypted passwords for example!

Re:We cannot tell anything without seeing sample d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071962)

To make sure that they are in fact encrypted, or at least know that Facebook understand how to encrypt, in which case they most likely do encrypt since they have no shortage of servers to be able to run one of the biggest websites on the web.

It's always been like that in the UK (1)

sheepe2004 (1029824) | more than 2 years ago | (#38071602)

I'm in the UK and as far as I know Facebook has never offered to mail out cds of personal information here, but they've had a download available for at least a year now.

Re:It's always been like that in the UK (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38071772)

They've never offered, but they are obligated to under EU law.

Re:It's always been like that in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38072058)

same - but seriously? how is a CD any more safe?

Is it enough? (1)

rabidmuskrat (1070962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38072558)

I'm curious if the categories available for download will be considered enough in the long run to satisfy the EU laws. If they know there are more categories and that they're not providing it all, is that considered holding back to much by those laws?

DOWNLOAD YOUR INFORMATION (1)

dtrane (2407116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38073252)

Anyone, can download their personal information from facebook. here [tampabay.com]

Given that this is Facebook, after all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38073324)

Someone will find a way to turn "download 'all of the personal information you've shared on Facebook'" into download all the personal information *someone else* shared on Facebook.

There's no way they can keep this from screwing up even worse. Oh, and the nastiness the FB worm posted as you.... included in the download.

On second thought, hey, we can now see the kind of data that the law enforcement portal already serves up on-line. I bet it's the same tool, just filtered a bit. Shouldn't be a huge stretch to turn all the features back on.

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