Monday, November 14, 2011

Don't request Facebook for your personal data, they will send you a truckload of it

Austrian law student Max Schrems may be just one of about 800 million Facebook users, but that hasn't stopped him tackling the United States giant behind the social networking website over its privacy policy.

The 24-year-old wasn't sure what to expect when he requested Facebook provide him with a record of the personal data it holds on him, but he certainly wasn't ready for the 1,222 pages of information he received.

This included photos, messages and postings on his Facebook page dating back years, some of which he thought he had deleted, the times he had clicked 'like' on an item, 'pokes' of fellow users, and reams of other information.

'When you delete something from Facebook, all you are doing is hiding it from yourself,' Mr Schrems told AFP in his home city of Vienna. Shocked, Mr Schrems decided to act. Hitting a dead end in Austria, he took his complaints in August to the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) in Ireland, where Facebook has its European headquarters - Singapore Straits Times