Facebook faces forced reform in EU privacy case

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner is taking a closer look at Facebook – and if it is in breach of the law.

As we reported, because Facebook’s European headquarters is based in Ireland, it must respect EU data laws. Since Facebook installed a function that merely ‘archives’ your messages rather than delete them, there’s a good chance Zuckerberg’s lot has been misleading you into letting them hold onto data you thought was gone forever. 

An Austrian law student, reports ZDNet UK, has now successfully secured an audit of Facebook’s Ireland offices.

The student requested a copy of all the information held on them, which Facebook eventually handed over. A CD turned up that was full of highly personal information – including every Facebook chat. Much of the content was thought to have been deleted, but Facebook still had access.

If Facebook’s house isn’t in order, it will face a fine of €3,000. If the courts deem it suitable there’s a chance Facebook could be sued for as high as €100,000.

Facebook can afford it. The real stickler for Facebook’s European operation would be proposed changes to how it retains information – which is the reason the social not-work is so profitable. 

Then again, Facebook is so popular that users could simply agree to it keeping track on them anyway. The privacy angle helped G+ at first, but Facebook is still on top. And transparency hasn’t stopped many people from letting Apple and Google track them on their phones.