Earlier this year an Austrian law student Max Schrems sent a request to Facebook to provide him with all his personal data. As Facebook has its European Operations center within the EU – in Dublin, Ireland – it must conform to EU law, and thus was obliged to provide all the data it stored about him.
Facebook sent Max received a CD containing about 1,222 pages (PDF files). This included deleted chats and other interactions dating back to 2008. This data was then visualized by Berlin-based newspaper taz.de [see results below].
Max Schrems has also requested more information on any other data which Facebook stores about him. Facebook has said this is confidential, and the matter is now with Ireland’s data protection commissioner which has started an audit. As a result of this, a new initiative has been started called Europe versus Facebook, which aims for greater transparency and control of personal data on Facebook.
Visualizations of Max’s Facebook data from Taz.de
1,222 pages of Max’s Facebook data
Max’s Facebook logins
Max’s Message Activity
Max’s Facebook Network
Max’s Vienna Photos
Tags from Max’s Messages
To get access to your own data from Facebook, follow the instructions at Europe-v-Facebook.org.