Ever wonder what would happen if everyone who had been locked out of their Facebook account for using their chosen name just refused to log back in (rather than handing over their IDs, etc.) until Facebook gave them a full copy of the data they’d collected from them? Not just a copy of their profile, but the full shebang?
Following the steps outlined in the above link would most likely result in a form email saying something to the effect of: “Only European users have a legal right to their data, we don’t care about privacy in the U.S., lol.”, but it would be an interesting experiment, wouldn’t it?
By the way, if you’re not familiar with Max Schrems, Europe vs. Facebook, and the recent Safe Harbor ruling, I highly recommend checking it out. Very interesting stuff that might be impacting you directly soon.
“Implicit in the decision is the notion that the U.S. prizes national security over an individual’s right to privacy, while Europeans have long taken the opposite view. This reflects long-held cultural differences; the U.S. Constitution doesn’t mention the word “privacy” once, but the right is enshrined in numerous national laws and a handful of supranational protections, including the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Protocols.
That agreement was signed in 1950, when the horrors of World War II still dominated Europe’s collective consciousness, and that experience, among others where personal information was used for totalitarian and genocidal purposes, helped form the widespread, almost visceral belief in the individual right to privacy. I would argue that those experiences continue to shape European privacy rules, including the one handed down by the ECJ.”