Facebook's new "Download your Information" feature reveals a radically different interpretation of transparency to one that the rest of us in Europe might hold. The feature may be a promising start, but the company still clearly has difficulty understanding the requirements of European Data Protection law. The feature provides only a fraction of the personal information held by Facebook and is thus still in violation of law.
The company may escape a prosecution under the UK Trades Description act for misleading advertising, but only just. The download feature does carry a caveat. It says the feature will give you:
- Any photos or videos you've shared on Facebook
- Your Wall posts, messages and chat conversations
- Your friends' names and some of their email addresses
but that's a far cry from the masses of other data held by the company. To avoid a claim of misleading advertising the feature should be called something like "Download a Sliver of Your Information".