Facebook Runs Afoul of UK Privacy Regulators

The social networking community is beginning to look beleaguered, with many of the top social sites besieged with user, legal, and PR troubles. Now Facebook finds itself back in the hot-seat, with news that UK regulators are concerned about the site's privacy practices.

The gist of the regulators' problem arises from the company's method for deactivating accounts. According to Facebook, when a user decides to deactivate their account, the information is not removed from the site, but rather, placed in storage, in case they decide to reactivate later. The mechanism for permanent deletion requires the user to manually delete their information from the site, a point that has the UK's Information Commissioner's Office in a bit of a tizzy. According to the ICO, the user shouldn't have to manually delete his or her information, Facebook should remove it at the time the account is deactivated.

Facebook execs are doing their best to have it both ways, making adamant claims that it is in line with UK privacy law, but also avoiding a confrontation with the CIO all the same.

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