Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times has an interesting 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 and 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 but spokeswoman Amy Sezak says Facebook is doing you a favor: "Deactivated accounts mean that a user can reactivate at any time, and their information will be available again just as they left it.""
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