If you have stored any pictures on facebook, then had a second
thought and "deleted" them, you need to understand that currently
they are just hidden (and not very well at that). The link on your
facebook page is removed, but the picture is still there. Anyone,
friend or foe, who has kept a direct link to that picture (easily
done in most browsers) will be able to see that unwanted picture at
any time. They will then be able to copy them (this may be illegal:
but if they are circumventing your deletion then that may not worry
Why is this of interest to you, if you are careful? Well if like
us, you are very careful about images you display, but one of your
friends isn't, then asking them to remove completely any image
which for good reason you don't want others to see… just may not be
possible at the moment. There is a link at the end of this blog
post with more information.
The other side of the coin is also of interest to our
Actually within our software, we employ a similar process to
Facebook's deletion mechanism. It is very difficult and in some
circumstance not possible by using the Ava programme itself to
actually remove certain data. This is intentional. We hide data
rather than delete it to preserve audit trails and ensure that
important stuff cannot get accidentally lost, ie. Prevent the
"O.M.G!" circumstance. Important data can be recovered, it's called
peace of mind.
The data within our software is either private or only carefully
exposed on the web (that is to say security and privacy measures
are built in from the very start). This means it is very, very
difficult to loose data and your business data is still very
private and secure. Actually loosing data is almost impossible: if
you have regular backups as well. But we are supplying software to
keep your commercial data - your "intellectual property" aka "IP"
private and secure. We take IP or intellectual property very
seriously. We don't want either our software (code) or for example
a list of your employees or customers email addresses and phone
numbers to be available to competitors for any reason.
So this brings us to an initiative by the EU - yes another EU
initiative. They are proposing an individual may request deletion
of any data that a company holds on them. Where Facebook, Google,
LinkedIn et al is concerned this seems all well and good. Quite
simply an individual says - I dont want to use Facebook any more,
please close my account and delete all my stored data.
However any such legislation needs to be very carefully framed.
Removing personal data in the case of a staffing agency could prove
very expensive. The following couple of considerations need to be
taken into account:
- If data is backed up, then those backups would have to be
destroyed, as by very nature they would contain a complete copy of
- Rupert Murdoch and News International would probably be quite
happy if they received such a request (authenticated or not) for a
wide range of individuals and "consequentially" had to delete data
As the Chinese would say we live in interesting times.
Relevant links which might also be of interest:
Nearly 3 years later deleted
facebook photos are still online
Viviane Reding Vice-President of
the European Commission EU Justice Commissioner Your data, your
The Information Commissioner's
Office (ICO) Retaining personal data (Principle 5)