Watch LIVE

Is Facebook Creating 'Shadow Profiles'?

News

In mid-August, Europe vs. Facebook raised the complaint that Facebook Ireland was maintaining 'shadow profiles' of people who were not registered to the site.

According to SlashGear, Facebook Ireland denies collecting information it shouldn't and states that the only information that is kept is an email address and name.

The Guardian reports Max Schrems, an Austrian law student, asked Facebook for all the data it held on him and was shocked when it resulted in a 1,200 page PDF and contained information he had deleted:

Among the 1,200 pages of data Schrems was sent were rejected friend requests, incidences where he "defriended" someone, as well as a log of all Facebook chats he had ever had. There was also a list of photos he had detagged of himself, the names of everyone he had ever "poked", which events he had attended, which he hadn't replied to, and much more besides.

[...]

"I discovered Facebook had kept highly personal messages I had written and then deleted, which, were they to become public, could be highly damaging to my reputation," said Schrems in an interview between law lectures on Thursday.

Facebook Ireland, a subsidiary that runs Facebook for users outside of the United States and Canada, is now under investigation by the Irish Data Protection Commission. If prosecuted and found guilty, Facebook Ireland could face close to $140,000 (100,00 Euro) in fines.

Slashdot goes on to report Facebook representatives as saying email and names are collected to better suggest friends and sidesteps messages being maintained based on the fact that users cannot delete messages that reside in the recipients inbox.

Last year, Slashing Magazine gave readers instructions on how to permanently delete their accounts from popular sites, and also rated sites on how hard it was to do so. Facebook ranked in as a 5, the highest level of difficulty to permanently delete.

According to Slashing Magazine, you can 'deactivate' your account, which removes your account from Facebook but keeps your profile in some invisible database so you could 'reactivate' it at some pint should you choose. The other, permanent alternative requires a written request to Facebook itself. Take care not to try logging in to Facebook after you've made this permanent deletion request; it will nullify your request and your account will remain active.

Most recent
All Articles