Backing out of Facebook

Scoble - there and back again

There's a really interesting little story going on, Facebook vs. Scoble - Robert Scoble was banned from Facebook for breaking Facebook’s Terms of Use by running an automated script - illegal by Facebook's Terms of Service On his radio show, Robert Scoble chats about this more.

Here's another opinion by an angry man:

Getting out with your private data intact

Alan Burlinson's Blog also documents another sequence of events.

  1. Facebook and your lack of privacy
  2. How to leave Facebook
  3. How to leave Facebook - followup 1
  4. How to leave Facebook - followup 2
  5. Facebook privacy roundup

Alan decided that Facebook's service constituted a threat to his online privacy and attempted to close his account. In doing so he discovered that Facebook would deactivate his account but retain the data. The user has to go through an extra process to have that data physically deleted from the servers. Channel 4 News picked up the story and consulted the ICO and Internet lawyers and Alan finally had his account permanently deleted.

However, he does note, "If Facebook has the ability to delete accounts so easily, why don't they make it available to users? In their written response to C4 they say that "Facebook does not use any information from deactivated accounts for advertising purposes." If that is the case, why do they retain the information at all? And although they aren't using it for "advertising purposes", are they making other use of it, and if so, what?"

My interest in Facebook is waning somewhat after the Microsocial saga, it does still seem to provide high value in terms of a social networking platform, but this monetization of MY DATA for THEIR BENEFIT remains an issue. Not only that, the risks to my identity of people picking up my personal details increases the more vital public data I publish as today's article on BBC News notes, Cyber thieves target social sites

Data Portability Logo

I've just signed up to Data Portability, I feel that some of the answers to my questions lie there.