UK concerned over Facebook's profile deactivation methods

British officials are set to question Facebook over its data retention methods after a user complained that personal information remained on its severs after he deactivated his account.

Facebook's current system still retains some data even after an account is deleted. So far, it has defended the practice claiming that it is in full compliance with UK privacy laws.

Even so, the company said that it takes the "the concerns of the [Information Commissioner's Office] and our user's privacy very seriously and are committed to working with the ICO to maintain a trusted environment for all Facebook users and ensure compliance with UK law," in a statement on its site.


Deactivation of an account is apparently not the same as deleting it per se. Apparently, as a method for users who may change their minds, the data is stored so the account can be quickly reactivated later.

If a user wishes to delete her profile, she must do so manually. It is this facet of Facebook's policies that concerns the agency. It feels that that account deletion should be handled more on the company rather than the user's side.

The data retention flap is only the latest in a series of privacy dust-ups for Facebook. Its Beacon service, which aimed to allow friends to see details of their friends' online activities, was roundly criticized prompting the company to back off and apologize for not informing users of its objectives.

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