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Facebook Privacy

European Users Overwhelm Facebook With Data Requests 214

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

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  • by AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) <afacini@NospAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @10:23AM (#37539458)
    From the Reddit post they discussed: http://www.damnlol.com/watermarked/ea83e08059fd271293365560edd6d795.jpg [damnlol.com]
  • by admdrew (782761) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @11:01AM (#37539982) Homepage
    There is another means: https://www.facebook.com/settings [facebook.com] Click "Download a copy of your Facebook data." and follow the instructions.
  • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @11:22AM (#37540238) Journal

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

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

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

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

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

  • by andy.ruddock (821066) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @11:27AM (#37540304) Homepage

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

    Hi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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