Everyone is joining Facebook. It's where all your friends are. But did you know that once you join Facebook, you could be a member for life? You can delete your account but Facebook retains copies of your information indefinitely.
The contract or terms of Facebook actually tell you this if you take the time to read it in its entirety. Those who read the over 6,500 words can tell you that you can't use the terms in an article unless you have permission from the company to do so
Facebook claims that one of the reasons that they keep your info on hand is so when you decide to reactivate it's all there. That means that you are there even if you have decided not to be anymore. Have you used your credit card number on Facebook to buy a virtual gift? That number remains with the rest of your data.
According to Facebook, though, you can leave without a trace; it just takes a lot of work on your part.
“Users can also have their account completely removed by deleting all of the data associated with their account and then deactivating it,” Amy Sezak, a spokeswoman for Facebook said. “Users can then write to Facebook to request their account be deleted and their e-mail will be completely erased from the database.”
With Facebook holding onto your information, it has the potential to be able to abuse it in the future. Facebook offers their advertisers the ability to connect with certain groups of people. Losing a client means they lose potential advertising monies.
“The thing they offer advertisers is that they can connect to groups of people. I can see why they wouldn’t want to throw away anyone’s information, but there’s a conflict with privacy,” said Alan Burlison, 46, a British software engineer who succeeded in deleting his account only after he complained in the British press
Canadian online community developer Steven Mansour, 28, spent two weeks in July trying to delete Facebook. He ended up writing a blog entry entitled “2504 steps to closing your Facebook account”. Mansour also is concerned about the privacy abuse issue. His account has been deactivated.
Now, most people won't get why this is such a big deal. But it is a big deal. Your personal data, especially on the web, is something that will be increasingly valuable to corporate and government interests - and increasingly important (and, perhaps, difficult) to protect.Although this information concerns me I will remain on as a Facebook member. I will also limit the information that I put out into the Facebook world.
What are your thoughts? Did you know when joining Facebook that they hang onto your information even after you may choose to leave? Did you read all of the term of agreements or click the "yea, yea sign me up button" saying that you had but didn't have time for?
You know I think I may have been one of those. Next time I will know better. So will you.