As predicted Facebook have already got off to a bad start in 2008, with news that in the UK the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is to look into how easy (or not as the case seems to be) it is to delete your information off Facebook once you have deactivated your account. The fear is that people will think that once they deactivate their account that will remove all their information but that isn’t the case.
“Those who wish to wipe out all information are advised to “log in and delete all profile content”, which involves manually removing everything from messages to pictures.
Facebook will then remove all the information from its server but only if a user has contacted the site and told it to do so.”
The investigation comes on the back of an ex-users complaint that their information is still held by Facebook even though they had deactivated the account. “One of the things that we’re concerned about is that if the onus is entirely on the individual to delete their own data,” said Dave Evans, the senior data protection practice manager at the ICO.
Facebook is defending the policy as it is allowable under UK law, but that isn’t really the point. Not the best of starts PR wise for Facebook in 2008!