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Facebook Privacy

European Users Overwhelm Facebook With Data Requests 214

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

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  • by ZiakII ( 829432 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @10:27AM (#37539520)
    I just don't get this new attitude of spending the entire day complaining about Facebook. Personally, I don't use the site and last time I checked no was forcing these people to use the site either. From how that article is written they seem to be acting like a bunch of children who are just complaining just because they can.
  • by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @10:28AM (#37539528) Journal

    But you use Google, right?

  • by DJLuc1d ( 1010987 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @10:31AM (#37539582)
    I'm pretty sure they do it this way for the same reason most rebates are still mail-in. They don't expect the user to actually do it out of inconvenience. If it was as simple as clicking a button on the internet, more people would be aware of how much data they actually collect.
  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @10:31AM (#37539586)
    You may not use Facebook, but that doesn't mean you're not on it. You may be in a picture, or mentioned in a comment somewhere by a friend. You can be tagged, at which point it's your full name, picture, (time-dependent) location, the activity you were engaged in (therefore hobbies or social activities), you are linked with others tagged in that photo and their hobbies, religions, political affiliations, relationships. Someone could mention that you were at the office party, at which point they know you work for the same company as $FBuser.

    Don't assume that because you didn't create a profile yourself that Facebook doesn't have one anyway.
  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @10:37AM (#37539678)
    Which is really awesome up until someone manages to pretend they're you and get all of your data. At least shipping it on a disc to a physical address adds a few extra layers of inconvenience for the people who might otherwise attempt to do this. Considering how much information Facebook has on some people, that data falling into the wrong hands could do some serious damage to a person's life.

    Hopefully there's some follow up from the people who have requested their data. It will be interesting to see how much stuff Facebook stores and all of the things that it knows that people would rather prefer it didn't.
  • Grow up, people (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davmoo ( 63521 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @10:52AM (#37539876)

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

  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @11:09AM (#37540074)

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

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

    There - fixed that for you!

  • by _0xd0ad ( 1974778 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @11:10AM (#37540080) Journal

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

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

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

  • by ACS Solver ( 1068112 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @11:44AM (#37540554)

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

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

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie