Facebook, who filed their $5 billion IPO last week is also currently embroiled in a privacy tangle in Europe. A student group in Austria lobbying for more privacy says the social network is now getting ready to publish categories of data it collects. A three-month, Irish investigation done on Facebook found that their privacy policy lacked transparency and was too complex. As a result, Facebook decided to redo their privacy policy outside North America. Max Schrems, spokesman for the Europe-v-Facebook.org group said, “This (data) access issue as well as having disclosed all the data categories they are holding about users is something where we found some progress. The main issue is that they have limited resources, especially for the access requests. I have the feeling that they are kind of thinking if they can get by without making full access to the raw data.”

More transparent privacy policy demanded in Europe

More transparent privacy policy demanded in Europe

The investigation done by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner at Facebook's international headquarters in Dublin said that users were at risk of having personal data publicised without knowing it. Schrem's group holds 22 allegations against Facebook which deal with Facebook collecting and storing user data, which users did not know about, or that users had deleted. He said that a group of citizens trying to make Facebook, a huge multinational corporation, accountable for its privacy policies is “absurd”, but the European Union will take a more active role in pressuring Facebook in the near future.

There are, of course, problems with Facebook's privacy policy, even in North America. Pictures that users had deleted, three years ago can still be found on Facebook. The social network said the issue stemmed from older servers that they had where they have not deleted all the backup copies of pictures in a timely manner, yet.

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Publish date: February 8, 2012 10:27 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 9:33 pm

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