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February 6, 2012

Will Facebook ever learn? Your photos were never deleted

If you thought your photos on Facebook were actually deleted when you hit the ‘delete’ button think again.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

Is it me or does Facebook just refuse to understand the meaning of user privacy?

The social networking site only just recently passed the Irish Data Commission investigation by the skin of its teeth in December, so you would think Facebook would be on top of any loose ends concerning privacy amongst its users, but apparently not.

According to a report by Ars Technica, who began an investigation back in 2009, Photos that some users have deleted over the past years are actually still present on the website. The "deleted" photos are able to be accessed by the direct jpeg link.

Well that’s interesting. Last time I checked the word ‘delete’ meant to permanently erase something, perhaps Facebook could benefit from looking the word up in the dictionary.

So if your photo happens to have a direct link to the image, it is still available for others to view on the social website.

The real issue is that users have been deleting photos thinking that they are no longer available online. The issue brings to light a scary picture of just how little power Facebook users have over their own information and data on the site. Facebook really needs to work on being transparent with its users about what the site does with their data.


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It took over three years for Facebook to acknowledge the issue and a spokesperson for the company said in a statement:

"We have been working hard to move our photo storage to newer systems which do ensure photos are fully deleted within 45 days of the removal request being received. This process is nearly complete and there is only a very small percentage of user photos still on the old system awaiting migration, the URL you provided was stored on this legacy system. We expect this process to be completed within the next month or two, at which point we will verify the migration is complete and we will disable all the old content."

The fact that Facebook has taken this long to fix the issue since it was reported a few years ago is appalling and like Ars Technica we agree that only time will tell if Facebook will hold true to its promise.


Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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