Facebook Not Giving Up Private Data

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Facebook has objected to a subpoena issued to it by an airline under the name Colgan Air, essentially citing the privacy concerns as the reason it couldn’t comply.

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One of the persistent fears about social networking has long been the fact that they accrue a significant amount of data, not only about people who make use of the service, but also about those who opt out, but whose friends hold accounts. Facebook isn’t alone in this respect, but thanks to the manner in which users can tag photos it’s easy to see why Facebook might be among the most worrying cases.

Of course, after Facebook’s refusal to comply with the request for data, things got a little messy, with the company being needled with a daily fine of $200, which we imagine it wasn’t too concerned about. Now though, it’s looking very much as though Facebook is in the clear now, having basically said that it would pursue the matter into a federal court.

In a fairly entertaining twist, after the court’s flirtation with Facebook’s legal department, the owner of the Facebook account in question pretty much just agreed to let her employers at Colgan Air poke through her private Facebook data, though it’ll be doing so with a healthy dose of egg on its face.

If you’re interested in reading more details then you should check out Cnet’s article on the whole affair. They go into a tremendous amount of detail both on the case itself, Colgan Air and the girl in court over a personal injury claim. It’s a very interesting read, especially considering the fact that it basically shows Facebook as a company willing to stand up for its users.

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