Trolling Facebook is in high fashion today as Reddit users swamp Facebook with requests for individual user data. It would be awesome to know what Facebook knows about you, and to get an idea of just how popular this idea is, check Slashdot this morning. What is interesting though is out at Europe-V-Facebook.org website they posted some redacted and blackout versions of some of the data that people did get when they requested it from Facebook. This while blacked out can give people a very interesting insight into what people are sharing with facebook, and in many cases, third party applications that track all this data as well. We really are giving up a lot, and this might just end up being the shot across the bow for Facebook. It took the “child predator scare” to kill MySpace, privacy and data collection is going to have a dent in how far people trust facebook in the future.
Overall this is an amazingly good read, and with facebook backed up processing requests right now due to the flood of people requesting their data, in the longer run this is an important lesson for any company that collects and uses personal information. Privacy laws are only going to bend in favor of people being able to request information about them. There are already multiple laws out there, you can even request your US Government Records today if you felt like it.
This looks like the difference between a closed system (facebook) where you have to ask to get an export of your data, and Google Plus, where you can download your data at any time using their data liberation process. Although this is not the same as knowing what Google knows about you, it simply makes sense for Google, Microsoft, and any other large company that holds a lot of user data and has a physical presence in Ireland right now to think about what is happening to Facebook, and see if they survive the same kind of process with the people they have at hand.
What I would like to know though is who is processing the user data out of facebook right now, is it the group in Ireland, or is it some outsource place in India that is actually doing the work. Makes you wonder at some point if there is going to be a data security breach because someone asked for data, and they were celebrity enough that someone decides to post it, or give it to Wikileaks.