Content Marketing Blog

Facebook denies ‘shadow profile’

Facebook has defended the recent complaints its Ireland office received regarding the retention of user data.

Austrian law student Max Schrems filed 22 individual claims against the social network’s practices after he requested a copy of his personal data – the information he was sent also included details he had deleted from his profile.

He claims Facebook creates what he describes as "shadow profiles" – data that is collected or stored without the knowledge or consent of the person.

Facebook has denied these claims, with company representative Mia Garlick telling UK's The Register that while it does receive such information – such as the e-mail address whenever a Facebook invite is sent – it does not use that data for profiling non-users.

"We keep the invitees’ e-mail address and name to let you know when they join the service," she explained.

"This practice is common among almost all services that involve invitations… the assertion that Facebook is doing some sort of nefarious profiling is simply wrong."

Garlick claimed that Facebook offered more control than other services, and that non-users could delete their e-mail address from Facebook or opt-out of receiving invitations to join the social media website.

The audit of Facebook's Ireland office is due to begin soon.

A spokesman told Fox News that Facebook is co-operating fully with the requested audit.

"We believe that we are fully compliant with EU data protection laws and look forward to welcoming the Data Protection Authority (DPA) to our EU headquarters in Dublin to demonstrate this," he said.

"The Irish DPA audits several companies each year and we expect the whole process to be complete by January 2012."