Facebook faces privacy questions

Facebook is to be quizzed about its data protection policies by the Information Commissioner's Office. The investigation follows a complaint by a user of the social network who was unable to fully delete their profile even after terminating their account.

Currently, personal information remains on Facebook's servers even after a user deactivates an account. Facebook has said it believes its policy is in "full compliance with UK data protection law".

"We take the concerns of the ICO [Information Commissioner's Office] and our user's privacy very seriously and are committed to working with the ICO to maintain a trusted environment for all Facebook users and ensure compliance with UK law," said a statement from the site.

Protecting principle

At present, Facebook users who wish to remove their profile from the site are given the opportunity to deactivate their account. But once deactivated the information, though no longer accessible, remains on Facebook's computers. This is useful if you might reactivate your account later, but not the same as full deletion.

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