Your photos remain on Facebook even after they have been deleted

May 21st, 2009 - 1:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Facebook London, May 21 (ANI): A new research has found that many social networking sites, including Facebook, continue to carry photographs of their users even after they have deleted them.

Cambridge University researchers put photos on 16 popular websites, noted the web addresses where the images were stored, and then deleted them.

The team revealed that they were still able to find the deleted photos on seven sites after 30 days, using the direct URLs to the photos from the sites’ content delivery networks.

The researchers said that these links continue to work even though a typical user might think the photos had been removed.

“This demonstrates how social networking sites often take a lazy approach to user privacy, doing what’s simpler rather than what is correct,” the BBC quoted Joseph Bonneau, one of the PhD students who carried out the study, as saying.

“It’s imperative to view privacy as a design constraint, not a legal add-on,” he said.

But a Facebook spokesman has defended the company’s approach, insisting the photos are removed instantly.

“When a user deletes a photograph from Facebook it is removed from our servers immediately,” the spokesman said.

“However, URLs to photographs may continue to exist on the Content Delivery Network (CDN) after users delete them from Facebook, until they are overwritten.

“Overwriting usually happens after a short period of time,” he added.

The researchers said that special photo-sharing sites, such as Flickr and Google’s Picasa, did better and Microsoft’s Windows Live Spaces removed the photos instantly. (ANI)

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