Facebook has been criticized by many when it comes to online privacy issues. But, for the first time, there might be some action taken against the social network. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner might levy a fine of €100,000 over a complaint.
Max Schrems, a 24 year old Austrian law student has filed 22 complaints against the social network for holding his private data that he had deleted from Facebook.
Schrems had asked Facebook to provide him with data pertaining to his Facebook account in June. When Facebook sent him 1,200 pages worth of data, he realized that a lot of data, which had been deleted by him on the social network was found in the report.
“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. I’m not saying there was anything criminal or forbidden there, but let’s just say that, as someone wanting to work in law, there was stuff which could make it pretty impossible for me to get a job. By holding on to data its users assumed was deleted, Facebook was acting like the KGB or the CIA”,
Facebook had segregated Schrems’s data into 57 different categories. A log list was also attached in the document containing the dates, time and IP addresses of his logins. Apart from this, other details like deleted comments, friend requests and even chat history was provided.
After seeing the shocking data, Schrems filed 22 complaints against Facebook with the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. The authority will soon audit the social network and if they are found guilty, Facebook will have to pay the fine.
A Facebook Spokesperson commented on this matter saying,
“Facebook provided Mr Schrems with all of the information required in response to his request. “It included requests for information on a range of other things that are not personal information, including Facebook’s proprietary fraud protection measures, and any other analytical procedure that Facebook runs. This is clearly not personal data, and Irish data protection law rightly places some valuable and reasonable limits on the data that has to be provided.”
Schrems has even started a Website, called Europe Versus Facebook to make people more aware about how the social network holds back private data.
After this new case, Facebook will have to take some significant measures to make their network more safer and transparent for users in the near future.