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Facebook A Black Hole For Personal Info

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the halp-meee-halp-meee dept.

Social Networks 242

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times has an article on how Facebook is so sticky it is nearly impossible to get loose. While the Web site offers users the option to deactivate their accounts, Facebook servers keep copies of the information in those accounts indefinitely. Many users who have contacted Facebook to request that their accounts be deleted have not succeeded in erasing their records from the network. 'It's like the Hotel California,' said Nipon Das, a user who tried unsuccessfully to delete his account. 'You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.' It took Mr. Das two months and several e-mail exchanges with Facebook's customer service representatives to erase most of his information from the site, which finally occurred after he sent an e-mail threatening legal action. But even after that, a reporter was able to find Mr. Das's empty profile on Facebook and successfully sent him an e-mail message through the network. Facebook's quiet archiving of information from deactivated accounts has increased concerns about the network's potential abuse of private data, especially in the wake of its fumbled Beacon advertising feature."

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Good (3, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391678)

Here's hoping that this will in the end reveal that 99% of humans are freaks, that the loudest judgmental voices are actually the biggest hypocrites, and we can all get along better.

Fuck privacy. Here's to transparency and the death of hypocrisies!

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392074)

Hey, when you get a minute, email me your home address. I want to go to your house and stare at you all day.

Note to mods: Don't bother modding this OT/flamebait/troll/stalker or whatever. I'm just continuing a conversation with parent that we've been having for a while, so don't bother wasting any points.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392096)

'tis true.. we are all freaks in our own way. The more realize that the less we'll have people thinking there's something bad about them simply because they like to enjoy life.

Which probably means 'normal' isn't what the press would like you to think it is.

Re:Good (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392114)

Yes, because one's facebook is a very accurate representation of the person who wrote it. No hypocrisy will be found there since the most active users of such sites find no importance in how the world perceive them!

Oh wait ...

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392262)

I've been going through your computer files. You must register as a sex offender immediately.

Re:Good (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392526)

the loudest judgmental voices are actually the biggest hypocrites

Fuck privacy.

I bet you think "irony" means "sort of like iron".

Saudi Arabia Bans Red For Valentines Day (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391688)

Islam is a horrible religion. I feel sorry for Muslim girls for so many reasons.

Saudi Arabia has asked florists and gift shops to remove all red items until after Valentine's Day, calling the celebration of such a holiday a sin, local media reported Monday.

With a ban on red gift items over Valentine's Day in Saudi Arabia, a black market in red roses has flowered.

  "As Muslims we shouldn't celebrate a non-Muslim celebration, especially this one that encourages immoral relations between unmarried men and women, " Sheikh Khaled Al-Dossari, a scholar in Islamic studies, told the Saudi Gazette, an English-language newspaper.

Every year, officials with the conservative Muslim kingdom's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice clamp down on shops a few days before February 14, instructing them to remove red roses, red wrapping paper, gift boxes and teddy bears. On the eve of the holiday, they raid stores and seize symbols of love.

The virtue and vice squad is a police force of several thousand charged with, among other things, enforcing dress codes and segregating the sexes. Saudi Arabia, which follows a strict interpretation of Islam called Wahhabism, punishes unrelated women and men who mingle in public.

Ahmed Al-Omran, a university student in Riyadh, told CNN that the government decision will give the international media another reason to make fun of the Saudis "but I think that we got used to that by now."

"I think what they are doing is ridiculous," said Al-Omran, who maintains the blog 'Saudi Jeans.' "What the conservatives in this country need to learn is something called 'tolerance.' If they don't see the permissibility of celebrating such an occasion, then fine -- they should not celebrate it. But they have to know they have no right to impose their point of view on others."

Because of the ban on red roses, a black market has flowered ahead of Valentine's Day. Roses that normally go for five Saudi riyal ($1.30) fetch up to 30 riyal ($8) on February 14, the Saudi Gazette said.

"Sometimes we deliver the bouquets in the middle of the night or early morning, to avoid suspicion," one florist told the paper.

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Saudi Arabia has often come under criticism for its treatment of women, most recently in a United Nations report that blasted the kingdom for widespread discrimination. Under Saudi law, women are subject to numerous restrictions, including a prohibition against driving and a requirement that they get a man's permission to travel or have surgery.

A businesswoman told the Times of London this month that she was detained and strip-searched by the religious police for holding a meeting in a coffee shop with male colleagues.

Two years ago, a teenager was raped by seven men who found her alone with a man unrelated to her. The government sentenced the 19-year-old woman to 200 lashes and six months in prison for being in the company of a man who wasn't a family member or her husband. She was later pardoned. The seven rapists were sentenced to two to nine years in prison.

greed/fear/ego based lief'style' also crater like (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391694)

let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

New Idea (4, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391696)

I am starting a new website that will build an altar to the Social Insurance number. All you have to do is fill out this little form and give us all of your personal info, and we hang up your Social Insurance number, then calculate your relevance compared to everyone else who uses the service. THIS IS A FREE SERVICE! If you sign up now, you also get a free password check, where you give us your username and password to every website and bank you use and we provide you with your security relevance score! FREE FOR THE NEXT 50 USERS!

Visit our website right now to enroll for free!

Re:New Idea (4, Interesting)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392198)

Funny, but also a bit scary, as just this morning I read about this: [bbc.co.uk]

Tech giants Microsoft, IBM, Google and Yahoo have joined the board of the Open ID Foundation which aims to streamline login systems across the web.

The Foundation wants to bring about a system that could mean one ID acts as a guarantor of a person's identity across all the sites they have signed up for.

Oh good, so I only have to have one online identity compromised in order for them all to be compromised. I hope it's not just us slashdotters who think this is a bad idea.

Re:New Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392200)

Well, where's the link?

Re:New Idea (3, Funny)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392254)

Heh, your social insurance number site reminds me of one of Jerry Lee Cooper's great computational achievements [linuxtoday.com]:

Just the other day, I helped an enterprise client do some work in MSSQL - they had to import LITERALLY DOZENS of customer records from an SQL database into a spreadsheet. We managed to do this quite easily by clicking the mouse for a few hours together, setting the ODBC drivers up using heaps of helpful GUI tools. We then managed to get the spreadsheet to AUTOMATICALLY TOTAL all of the postcodes for the customer records, and even calculate the AVERAGE of the postcodes.
Try doing THAT with your little shareware database !! Hmmph !

Easy Solution (4, Interesting)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391704)

When you want to leave, start adding bogus data. Friend people you don't know. Change the bio data. Tag yourself in pictures you aren't in. Basically, generate random activity. Defriend your actual friends. Change your name. After a time, it becomes very difficult to determine what is real and what is fake.

Re:Easy Solution (4, Funny)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391886)

Yes, so now my would-have-been boss thinks that actually I'm a 15 year old girl who does not know when to use CaPiTaL lEtTeRs.

Good idea but.... (3, Insightful)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392010)

Since a snapshot can be made of the site at any point in time, it is possible to go back and view the "legit" data. When you post something on the interweb, it could be there for good. One example: archive.org.

Re:Good idea but.... (2, Insightful)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392348)

Exactly, People need to realize that once data hits a public facing server unsecured you can say goodby to any privacy. From that point on you will be archived, scraped, spidered, copied, pasted, jacked off to, daydreamed about, blogged, included in research, and a million other things you never intended to happen. Tell ya what consider anything you put on a server where the public has access Lost to the massive copying machine that is the web.

But that is the way it should be, The internet was made to be resilliant, and it does a damn good job of it. So before you start suing companies and yelling at people about not being able to erase your data, maybe you should have a good solid hand-to-forhead moment an realize you are a dumbass.

Re:Easy Solution (1)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392138)

This is a good idea and would indeed be effective. But why? Why should I have to go to these lengths to drop an account? Why can't they just drop it? A technical reason? A human ignorance reason? A human stubbornness reason? Why?

Disappear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392160)

Don't believe anyone.
Don't read your mail.
Make light of every word you hear.
Turn off your radio. Quit your job.
Do something different. Disappear.
Do something different. Disappear. []

Re:Easy Solution (4, Interesting)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392182)

It's even easier. Simply violate all of the terms of service as possible. Upload images that are "inappropriate" and have your friends report you. Your info will be removed very quickly.

Re:Easy Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392220)

I do that with legit businesses who feel it ok to send me advertising if they call it a newsletter, in spite of the fact that I clearly say "No" when I made a purchase half a year back (aka spammers). It's always "Log on to our website if you want to get off our e-mail address". I always remove all information and if it's not optional I put in fake information. I also add them to my list of people I can't trust, so I won't make the mistake of buying from the again.

Re:Easy Solution (4, Funny)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392482)

When you want to leave, start adding bogus data. Friend people you don't know. Change the bio data. Tag yourself in pictures you aren't in.

Leaving Facebook sounds a lot like what I did when I joined Facebook.

The one lesson (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391730)

Thus, the one true lesson about internet privacy: once it's out there, it's out there FOREVER.

Be smart about what you put online and for pete's sake don't let anyone take naked photos of you, 'cuz they *will* end up online, and it will be *hilarious*.

Re:The one lesson (5, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391858)

...don't let anyone take naked photos of you, 'cuz they *will* end up online, and it will be *hilarious*.

I was hoping for "awe inspiring", or at least "impressive". Way to dent a guy's ego...

Re:The one lesson (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392132)

Be smart about what you put online and for pete's sake don't let anyone take naked photos of you, 'cuz they *will* end up online, and it will be *hilarious*.

Not for us who have to look, ugh!

Re:The one lesson (1)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392446)

Now all the hot 18 year old chicks that read slashdot are that much less likely to let someone take naked pics of them and post them on the internet!

late? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391734)

first post!

I prefer "Roach Motel for Data" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391740)

That's what I've been calling Outlook/Exchange for years, after a few extremely fun (read: painful) experiences migrating away from it. There are better tools now (mostly made by the companies whose products you'd migrate to), but there are still quite a few times when I have needed to get data out and found the export functions extremely lacking compared to the import functions.

While catchy, "Hotel California" doesn't quite have the same negative connotations as calling something a Roach Motel, IMHO.

Google (1)

rdradar (1110795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391746)

Kind of same thing with Google. Even their file system works in a way that it takes years for something really get deleted (your youtube videos etc). They archive everything.

Facebook Terms of Service (5, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391748)

The Facebook Terms of Service can be found here [facebook.com].

Here is an interesting excerpt:

When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content. Facebook does not assert any ownership over your User Content; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms, you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content.

Re:Facebook Terms of Service (1)

Lord Pillage (815466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391914)

Since the user retains all proprietary rights to their content, couldn't they just sue Facebook for holding copyrighted material on their servers? It seems to me that this contract is in conflict with the law and as we all know you can't hold a contract that implies one needs to break the law. (e.g. I'll pay for the 5 pounds of crack, and if you sell it for me I'll give you half the profits) Or am I wrong? IANAL

Re:Facebook Terms of Service (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392026)

The TOS says that the user gives Facebook a license to use that material.

Re:Facebook Terms of Service (5, Insightful)

Lord Pillage (815466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392064)

Quoted from the parent of my original post:

If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire

So in fact the license expires as soon as you remove the content. From reading some of the other posts here, it seems that Facebook tries to make a difference between "removing" material and "deactivating" material. I guess if all you do is "deactivate" you account, you're technically not removing it and thus Facebook retains its license, so one must remove their material. If Facebook then retains that information, I would say they are then in violate of copyright.

Re:Facebook Terms of Service (4, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392058)

Here's the rub:

You may remove your from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

The legal question here is: what is the definition of an "archive", as the term is used by Facebook?

Re:Facebook Terms of Service (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392252)

"publicly perform"... that's scary. So they basically can take anyone's picture and use it to advertise the site anywhere they want and they don't have to pay for it... wow.

It's been done (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391762)

I remember reading a story about a guy who had a lot of activity at Facebook. Deactivation of the account is the basic way of saying good bye, but very ineffective since everything but your profile left. Here's what you must do to get rid of your account, THEN mail Facebook and ask for complete removal:

1. Delete your photo
2. Delete Comments and messages you wrote
3. Delete your friends from your friends list.
4. Leave all your networks and groups you have joined.
5. Delete all your photo albums.
It's obviously a ridiculous way of keeping as many users as possible. Anyone with just a few comments and photos will not bother. Anyone with thousands will obviously not have time to do it. By the way, here's what Facebook say in the Privacy Policy on changing/removing information:

Access and control over most personal information on Facebook is readily available through the profile editing tools. Facebook users may modify or delete any of their profile information at any time by logging into their account. Information will be updated immediately. Individuals who wish to deactivate their Facebook account may do so on the My Account page. Removed information may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time but will not be generally available to members of Facebook. Where you make use of the communication features of the service to share information with other individuals on Facebook, however, (e.g., sending a personal message to another Facebook user) you generally cannot remove such communications.

Re:It's been done (4, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391940)

Here's what you must do to get rid of your account, THEN mail Facebook and ask for complete removal:

        1. Delete your photo
        2. Delete Comments and messages you wrote
        3. Delete your friends from your friends list.
        4. Leave all your networks and groups you have joined.
        5. Delete all your photo albums.

Sounds like an awful lot of work. Here's an alternate suggestion...also a bit of work, but definitely more enjoyable.

From the Facebook Terms of Service:

In addition, you agree not to use the Service or the Site to:

        * harvest or collect email addresses or other contact information of other users from the Service or the Site by electronic or other means for the purposes of sending unsolicited emails or other unsolicited communications;
        * use the Service or the Site in any unlawful manner or in any other manner that could damage, disable, overburden or impair the Site;
        * use automated scripts to collect information from or otherwise interact with the Service or the Site;
        * upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available any content that we deem to be harmful, threatening, unlawful, defamatory, infringing, abusive, inflammatory, harassing, vulgar, obscene, fraudulent, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;
        * upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available any videos other than those of a personal nature that: (i) are of you or your friends, (ii) are taken by you or your friends, or (iii) are original art or animation created by you or your friends;
        * register for more than one User account, register for a User account on behalf of an individual other than yourself, or register for a User account on behalf of any group or entity;
        * impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity;
        * upload, post, transmit, share or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, solicitations, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation;
        * upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make publicly available on the Site any private information of any third party, including, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers and credit card numbers;
        * solicit personal information from anyone under 18 or solicit passwords or personally identifying information for commercial or unlawful purposes;
        * upload, post, transmit, share or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
        * intimidate or harass another;
        * upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available content that would constitute, encourage or provide instructions for a criminal offense, violate the rights of any party, or that would otherwise create liability or violate any local, state, national or international law;
        * use or attempt to use another's account, service or system without authorization from the Company, or create a false identity on the Service or the Site.
        * upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available content that, in the sole judgment of Company, is objectionable or which restricts or inhibits any other person from using or enjoying the Site, or which may expose Company or its users to any harm or liability of any type.

The solution is simple. While being careful to stop short of outright illegality, violate as many of these prohibitions as possible, as often as you can manage it. Then send abusive email to the Facebook sysadmins, mocking them for their inability to stop you. Account deletion should follow rather quickly. ^_^

Re:It's been done (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392140)

upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available content that would constitute, encourage or provide instructions for a criminal offense, violate the rights of any party, or that would otherwise create liability or violate any local, state, national or international law

Haha, is there anything that could be posted without violating some law somewhere?

Ditch facebook! (1)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391774)

I'd like to see, if not an angry mob with pitchforks in front of Facebook's offices, at least an exodus of users from the service. We've lost so much privacy in the last 20 years with so little say in the matter.

What could it do for the cause of privacy if people all left facebook over their various privacy abuses?

And what would it do if no one seemed to care?

Re:Ditch facebook! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392022)

In case you haven't noticed... no one does care. That is... no one in the rest of the world. My brother and his friends (late 20s, some in their 30s) have just gotten into Facebook and think it's the greatest thing. Even if I told them about this story and explained that they could practically never remove their data from the site... "so what?" would be the response, I reckon.

Of course that's only on small group of examples - but the rest of the world doesn't share the same privacy concerns as many here do. If you ask them though, of course they care - but would they do something about it or help to fix the issues? Nope.

Re:Ditch facebook! (2, Insightful)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392524)

It's becoming an issue with real consequences. I've told the story before of the Argosy psychology student who was expelled because she was leading substance abuse support groups for her internship, and posted tales of her weekend drunken exploits online.

The fact that this record is permanent adds to the importance of being careful what you put on line. My oldest is 8, and when she starts getting into this, it's a lesson I hope I can teach her. The tactic I've heard with parents who do allow their children have an online presence is to tell them "I will be looking at your profile every day. Don't put up anything you don't want me to see.". It makes them realize, on a deep level, that this stuff isn't private.

In case you haven't noticed... no one does care.

Sadly, I've noticed. I think you're right. I just wish it wasn't so. It's hard to see something so clearly when most other people don't... it makes me feel like a Ron Paul supporter or something.

I'm not sure whose side I'm on! (3, Insightful)

obstalesgone (1231810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391788)

When you hand over the info to Facebook, you agree to let them have it. Why on earth would they be expected to delete it?

I agree that it seems unusual, and that maybe it's an unanticipated side-effect of giving your info to a social networking site that your data may persist forever, but I really don't think they're doing anything immoral.

Re:I'm not sure whose side I'm on! (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391944)

You're signing up for a service not a military draft. I, for one, think facebook exists to serve my purposes not their own. They obviously forgot that somewhere along the way.

Re:I'm not sure whose side I'm on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392230)

I, for one, think facebook exists to serve my purposes not their own.
You are wrong, and are either stupid or naive to have ever thought that.

Re:I'm not sure whose side I'm on! (1)

obstalesgone (1231810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392328)

This is nothing like a military draft. In a military draft, you exchange your military service for citizenship. Your facebook TOS (which I view as a contract) declares that you give them permission to use your personal information forever in exchange for allowing you to play scrabulous.

It might be a really crappy deal.. but it's a deal. I think that half a million dollars is a ridiculous price for an automobile, but once I drive it off the lot, that argument isn't likely to hold up in court.

I do find it curious that this generation honestly thinks that it is the duty of all corporate entities to serve them without compensation. Facebook tells you exactly what you're exchanging when you sign up. They want the right to use any information you provide for all of time. They say so up-front.

Would it be nice for them to sacrifice their income and delete the records that they have negotiated for en masse?

Yes. It sure would.

Re:I'm not sure whose side I'm on! (1)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392548)

"I, for one, think facebook exists to serve my purposes not their own. They obviously forgot that somewhere along the way."

Is it really possible to be that naive, or are you just pulling my leg? Take an economics class and think some more about this. Here's a little Adam Smith to help you along: "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."

Classmates (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391798)

Classmates.com is that way too. I finally just went in and changed my named to Yo Mamma, and my email to something like as*hole@f*ckoff.com. Finally I was free I thought, but later I had to dig deeper into my profile and change some other things, finally it died I guess...not really sure as I had already added classmates.com to my spam blacklist.

hating facebook (4, Insightful)

boxlight (928484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391800)

I'm really starting to hate facebook. Friends have posted photos I want to see, other friends have commented on those photos and I want to read them. But I don't see any notifications on my main news feed about any of this. But I get tons of crap about vampires and I seem to get notified about people I don't know becoming friends with people I hardly know.

Can someone suggest a cleaner, more useful alternative to facebook that I can try and talk all my friends into joining?

Re:hating facebook (5, Insightful)

Mushdot (943219) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391938)

Here's the best one for all your local friends to join: The Pub. It's great, you get to talk to each other face to face! I joined this group when I was about 15, and I've enjoyed it ever since. Only real friends join my group and we can buy each other REAL drinks.

If you like you can write on the wall, but I don't think the publican will be too happy.

Re:hating facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392436)

Here's a clue: Not everyone I want to keep in contact with lives next to me.

I was born and raised in Missouri and now live in Delaware. Not so easy to just go to "The Pub" is it? When close family, that I cant just visit on a whim, has 'moments' happen, what do I do? Something like facebook (Or as the poster asked, something else) comes in mighty handy.

Even then... what if I don't feel like going out to the pub? Or I work on a different schedule than my family (I work graveyard, family doesn't. Makes it hard to simply 'meet up') yet more reasons to have some online way to mingle.

How about even more reasons? What about online friends? Me and my GF have tons of friends thru online gaming. Friends thru games like Everquest, WoW, etc. People we've never met face to face yet still have good friendships with. We live in Delaware. One of our friends is on a boat doing his time in the Navy. Another best friend lives in Ontario. Another in Idaho.

"Go outside", "The Pub", etc... not everything is black and white. I spend time with friends/family near me. Maybe if you pulled your head outta your ass you'd realize that not everyone lives at home or stays within 30 minutes of their friends/family

Again... remove head from ass, and stop treating all situations the same.

Re:hating facebook (2, Funny)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392032)

Can someone suggest a cleaner, more useful alternative to facebook that I can try and talk all my friends into joining?

Uh, how about meeting your friends at a *real* place?

Re:hating facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392612)

Sounds like a great idea, just send me the money for all the plane tickets so that my friends in New Hampshire, Connecticut, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, and Hawaii can come meet me in Virginia!

And how do you delete a SLASHDOT account? (5, Interesting)

Nooface (526234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391806)

Oh, that's right...you cant't [slashdot.org].

Re:And how do you delete a SLASHDOT account? (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391980)

Funny in this context? Yes. Seriously though, Slashdot has a lot less information about its users than Facebook. You don't have real names, or pictures with people's real names, or graphs of who knows who and when they met, or anything to that effect on Slashdot. Using my Slashdot account or posting history, I'd be impressed if you could figure out where I live or go to school to within less than 300 miles; compare with Facebook, which has my real name and the name and location of my school.

Not to be a fanboy.

Re:And how do you delete a SLASHDOT account? (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392460)

Perhaps you have your slashdot account so compartmentalized from everything else that it doesn't matter to you, but it doesn't really take much to somewhere, somehow link it with your real identity. I know that somewhere in those 6000 comments I've probably made a lot of references that possibly when put together could be enough to ID me. Conversely, some of the people in real life knows my slashdot ID and if they open the door on that end it all gets pinned on me. And that doesn't take into account all the people that have already willingly linked their slashdot ID to a real life persona. So I think there's plenty good reason to want to delete a slashdot account, if I was starting to get rich and famous I'd want to delete mine just in case.

Re:And how do you delete a SLASHDOT account? (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392014)

You dare to criticise Slashdot?! For that, your account will be deleted.

Re:And how do you delete a SLASHDOT account? (4, Funny)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392028)

and how do you delete a SLASHDOT account?
Who'd want to?

Mod Parent Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392202)

Seriously, how am I going to land that plum position on the development team for Windows 7 if Microsoft's human resources department is going to do a simple Goog^H^H^H^H MSN search and find my lengthy, tedious Slashdot screeds against DRM, Vista and declaring that GNU/Linux will truly bring about the next age of man heralding peace and prosperity for all.
I chalk this up to Taco being old school when it comes to the internet where people would think first before putting something out in public on the internet fully understanding the repercussions should someone find it at a later date. I'm sure that Slash has gone through so many iterations that it would be astoundingly infeasible to actually implement a global account deletion feature. On a less gracious note, Taco and crew are probably lazy and can't be bothered to futz any more with their project.

I've experienced this (1)

Mr. Samuel (950418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391810)

Some time last year I emailed Facebook about having my account deleted, and they sent me a reply (probably a form letter) about how to "deactivate" my account. I'm concerned that Facebook is holding my personal info hostage. I don't care what the TOS says, how can such things be legal?

Re:I've experienced this (1)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392238)

It's legal because all the information was in the Terms and Conditions that you should have read before you ticked the box and clicked "Accept".

Should have read a bit closer, eh?

Re:I've experienced this (1)

Aetuneo (1130295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392418)

Holding it hostage? Is Facebook threatening to send it to people if you don't give them money? If so, then yes, it's not legal. If not, well ... keeping data which is given to you is legal, as long as you don't do anything with it that you've agreed not to. For example, I could tell you that I will sue you if you do not erase all memory of this post, but there isn't any fool-proof way for you to do that without damaging the rest of your mind (alternatively, if I knew that you kept a journal and had recorded this post in it - which a better analogy - I could sue you to remove all mention of me from the journal). Because of all of the backups that Facebook (probably) takes, it amounts to the same thing. After all, Corporations are legally people. Immortal sociopaths, yes, but still people.

What a business model (5, Insightful)

Osurak (1013927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391818)

I'm pretty impressed with their business model. To get the most out of a social network, you have to plug in as much data about yourself as possible, which point Facebook can turn around and either sell that information sell to advertisers, or use it to advertise to you directly. Even if you realize what's going on, you can't leave without feeling socially ostracized. And finally, even if you get past that, they won't delete your stuff anyway.

Really, the only thing you can do to throw a wrench in the works is to falsify the entire contents of your profile. It would be very interesting to see if you could use that to influence the behavior of advertisers. For example, I wonder what would happen if every account suddenly added "Cowboy Neal" to the Interests field. Facebook bombing, anyone?

Re:What a business model (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392088)

I wonder what would happen if every account suddenly added "Cowboy Neal" to the Interests field.

They'd lose all their advertising revenue. Who wants a bunch of lunatics as their market?

You have no privacy anyway (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391822)

Get over it.

Which is why I don't do facebook, Linked In, myspace, or any other 'social networking' site.

When I google my name (my real name, not 'wiredog') it returns zero results. I'm very happy about that.

Re:You have no privacy anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392428)

When I google my name (my real name, not 'wiredog') it returns zero results. I'm very happy about that.
That's funny, when I google your real name I get all kinds of hits. Are you sure you spelled your name right?

Kicked out? (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391850)

The worst part is that if you are permanently banned from the site, they still keep all your data on their servers. That is as low as they can get, because once banned a user cannot come back to delete their personal info, as they could if they voluntarily leave. The only real answer is to simply not use Facebook, at all. Flood it with false information to mask the real info., and then leave and never look back.

FINALLY! (4, Informative)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391856)

Finally, someone semi-credible has done a story about this. It's really about time. I've done just about everything to rid myself of their evil clutchs, but I have to go through thousands of records myself and delete everything. It would take an entire day to totally rid myself of facebook, and truth be told, I know my info would still be stored somewhere. When I wanted out of MySpace, I went in and pushed a button that said "delete account". If Facebook would just give me access to their databases, I'm sure I can get rid of my information in 10 minutes... and probably just about everything else. One word - EVIL.


jacobw (975909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392388)

When I wanted out of MySpace, I went in and pushed a button that said "delete account".
And how do you know that delete button really, truly deleted everything? Don't you think that MySpace has backups of their entire database somewhere? When you delete your account, do you think they go back and delete it from all the backups as well?

Facebook's explanation for why they retain the data is, basically, "People close their accounts, and then they change their minds and want them reopened, and this way, we can restore their entire account." I'm not crazy about their policy, but I actually find this explanation pretty credible. Presumably they're guessing that people who are really concerned about online privacy probably aren't going to be posting their life details to Facebook, and they're therefore more likely to lose users by deleting data than by keeping it. That guess might turn out to be wrong, but that doesn't make it evil. It sucks that you had to spend so much time clearing your tracks, but then, it would suck if your little brother deleted your account and you permanently lost access to your photos, wall posts, PMs, etc.


Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392592)

I personally find it no different than how Blizzard handles a DELETEd character in WoW.

From what I know, if you DELETE your character, you can request months later to have your character restored. And, if sources are correct, you get your toon back as it was when you deleted.

Likewise, I know a few people, who know this. So before they DELETE, they sell/destroy everything THEN DELETE. Get the toon back naked.

The only difference I see in this is the difference of information on YOU vs information on a persona. Blizzard makes ALOT of people happy when 2 months after the fact they decide 'ya know what... I changed my mind and now I want back in'. Makes getting customers back (and re-hooking them into the game) that much easier.

I closed my account and get nagged all the time (4, Interesting)

FliesLikeABrick (943848) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391870)

I deactivated my account a few years ago, once Facebook opened to high schools and (more recently) the general public. I never used it anyway, and it was turning into an annoyance.

After deactivating the account, I saw that a lot of my information is still retained, and I'm CONSTANTLY getting e-mails from facebook saying "so and so wants to be your friend! reactivate your account!" and also messages from "Facebook" on AIM saying essentially the same.

I really wish that they took the hint "If someone deactivates their account, odds are they want to stop being involved in the site"

Shocking, just shocking (4, Insightful)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391878)

You mean that if I upload all kinds of personal information and data to a third party's web servers that I have no direct or even indirect control over, I might have trouble later removing that info at my whim?

Seriously, even if Facebook did have a motivation for fully scrubbing users data when asked, I would think just Facebook employee incompetence would result in a certain percentage of information being left. And from Facebook's perspective, how many times do you think they have to deal with a user wanting everything they ever posted/uploaded gone forever one week, then wanting it all back and restored perfectly the next?

If you don't want it in the public realm, don't upload it/post it. Simple as that.

Re:Shocking, just shocking (2, Insightful)

bockelboy (824282) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392316)

Or live in Europe.

Most of Europe, from my understanding, has very strict privacy policies regarding personal data. You must have data retention policies detailing when the information will automatically go away, always allow customers to opt out, and always allow customers to remove their data.

Thank god we have freewheeling capitalism where companies can sell my personal data with no consequence.

I'm sure someone can point out something wrong with the European system, but it sure is a whole hell of a lot better than the US one.

Because They Can (2, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391890)

Facebook pulls this crap because they know most people are too lazy, stupid and/or indifferent to give a crap about what happens to their personal information. Those same people will be the first to whine about how unfair it is if they win a lottery and somebody tracks down their relatives and holds a child for ransom.

Deactivate doesn't deactivate (1, Interesting)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391894)

Deactivate doesn't deactivate accounts. I still receive friends requests. Maybe I'm just too popular and facebook can't handle all the friends requests that are sent my way.

anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22391968)

Is there anybody else out there like me who refuses to use social networking sites? Facebook, myspace, LJ etc?

Microsoft is your facebook friend now and forever (0, Flamebait)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391970)

Cum on if you can't trust Micro$oft with your personal data who can you trust.

It's probably easier (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22391982)

From what I understand about Facebook's policies, it's probably easier to get kicked off than it is to have them delete your information. Just post pornography in your photo albums.

Take it easy (5, Funny)

Urger (817972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392004)

Is it True?
All Night Long I was worried about this. Is my privacy Already Gone? It made me feel like a Certain Kind of Fool to think that I had put my personal data on a site that would Take It To The Limit in terms of giving away info about me. The Outlaw Man that runs Facebook has erased my Peaceful Easy Feeling. In The Long Run, After the Thrill is Gone, Facebook will learn. Untill then, I won't Get Over It and I Can't Tell You Why.

I've run out of Eagle's songs now....

This is appalling (1)

Firas Zirie (1179357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392172)

I've been using Facebook for a couple of months now but I had no idea that there is no way to permanently erase my info from their servers. Even if there wasn't a delete button, a simple e-mail with a polite request for deletion should be enough. Apparently someone is hearing the outcry; this is a quote from the group mentioned in the article:

"The Chief Privacy Officer for Facebook, Chris Kelly, was a speaker at a Privacy and Security Conference last week in Victoria (BC). Someone in the audience ask him about this and he mentioned that facebook was working on some kind of "nuke me" button (basically will erase each and every entry ever created by your account and all your account information) that will address all these concerns and that should be available sometime during this year. Let's hope they fulfill their promises."

This "nuke me" button should have been there all along, but at least they're working on it.

Minor point, but... (1)

PapaSmurph (249554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392250)

it does say deactivate, not delete. There is a significant difference. Deactivation simply removes the information from an active status (makes it slightly harder to find). Deletion would totally remove that information. You must delete before you deactivate.

Makes sense to me.

Not just in facebooks servers (4, Insightful)

sherriw (794536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392476)

Your data isn't just in Facebook's servers, but also potentially those of all the third part apps you've ever added to your profile. I've stripped out all my personal info so my profile is bare bones... but it's kinda too late since I had it in there before.

Not just personal data, but your relationship to all your friends list. If you 'went to school with' so and so, then it's easy to find out what school you went to based on what school your friend went to. If you have cousins on there... odds are one of them has a last name the same as your mother's maiden name. Yeah... the 'how do you know this person' info is bad too.

My Personal Solution (2, Insightful)

Pazy (1169639) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392490)

Personally they can keep my account all they want, If I have it avalible to the world then its out there already. Since I started using the internet ive known not to put anything anywhere you dont want publicically avalible forever.
Though as for Facebooks right to do this? I dont think so. They may have some sort of backward legal right to do this but if thats the case someone needs to get some sort of action together to stop it. If not they will end up simply licencing the data off to companies, if anyones making money of your life it should be you.

Wipe your profile (1)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392502)

I'm surprised no one has written an extension for firefox or something that will automatically delete your information

Open source projects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392546)

Open source projects and open source applications do pretty much always the same. Once you make an account it is nearly impossible to get rid of it. For several occasions I have considered suing couple projects for real because they seem to be usually entirely unresponsive or living in their phantasy world where they don't have to care about privacy. Usually an attempt to contact them gets greeted with an email that contains a sermon about the virtues of everything - including your personal details it seems - being OPEN and FREE. Gee, thanks a lot mail-archive.com and Gnome project (mail.gnome.org to be more specific). IMHO you are the greatest idiots ever.

Very common on dating sites (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392568)

Friendfinder, the dating service, (AFF, alt.com, etc.) was notorious for this. Most of the profiles on their sites were of people who were no longer members. Good-looking photos stayed on the site for years after account termination. It took a lawsuit to stop that.

One encyclopedia for me (5, Funny)

matt me (850665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392570)

Facebook is a black hole, yet facebook leaks information to the outside. Thanks, Hawking!
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