Once something is posted online, it never truly disappears. Apparently, the same goes for Facebook. As Europe v. Facebook revealed recently, Facebook keeps a track record of many of the things users do, some you might not even think are being documented. The reason Europe v. Facebook was given access to this information is due to a European law which grants its citizens the “right to access” any personal data a company might have on them, upon request of said citizen.
But Facebook can’t have much on us… a status update here, a picture there, how much data can they really archive? Well, let’s see just how deep Facebook’s knowledge is and how far this rabbit hole really goes…
Facebook keeps a meticulous track of every person who has ever poked you and who you yourself have poked. It also knows every event you were ever invited to, whether you responded as attending or, much more likely, maybe attending. But not only are these actions recorded, but information about the event- its host, location and name- are there as well. Any and all friend requests as well as any subsequent falling outs are also there for posterity.
Not impressed? Well read on.
The data can also show a list of the different machines someone uses to access their Facebook account, how often they’ve logged in using that computer, and any other users who have also looked into their own account on the same device. Some users even have a history of their deleted messages recorded.
It might not be Big Brother who knows what you’re up to, but considering the size and reach of Facebook, it might as well be. Next time you initiate or retaliate to a poke war, just keep that in mind.
Much more, including a form to access this data, is detailed here. Luckily for any European users, they can request all this information to find out just how much Facebook has on them. All they need is a government photo ID, a name and a birthdate. But as Kashmir Hill points out in her article, this seems a bit too easy for comfort. Forging documents has become quite simple (just ask the next 18 year old you see at a bar) and the idea of someone being able to access my personal information in a short 30 days so easily doesn’t sit right with me….however useless this information might seem.