ThanksÂ to a Channel 4 viewer, Facebook is now facing an investigation by a U.K. privacy watchdog. The story of the viewer resembles many others. After using Facebook, the user decided that they wanted to disable their account and no longer use the site. Not a problem on Facebook, simply login to the site, click on “Account” and then click “Deactivate.” Your done! Well, you are done as long as you don’t mind Facebook retaining all of the data you’ve ever created on the site. Wall posts, photo uploads, profile data, friends, group memberships and more are all kept on Facebook’s servers just in case you ever decide to return to the site.
If you want all of that data to be removed you need to go through and manually delete all of that data. Remove every friendship, unjoin every group, remove every wall post you’ve made, delete every photo you’ve uploaded and more. This can take days or even weeks if you are as active as I am on Facebook. According to a Channel 4 article, this Facebook policy “could violate the UK’s Data Protection Act.”
Facebook has been facing scruitiny regarding their policies including the new Social Ads system which may in fact violate a New York privacy law. In both instances, Facebook has denied that they are in violation. Whether or not they are violating the law, Facebook has been put on the defensive and chances are the public allegations won’t be going away anytime soon.