Facebook fingered for retaining deleted user photos

First Twitter, now Facebook raising user concerns about privacy.

It will be interesting if the latest revelations by Cambridge University researchers will unleash the same storm of protest as Facebook’s attempts to take ownership of user generated content.

So what did the researchers find?

They uploaded photos to 16 websites, noted the location (URL) of each image on the sites, and then “deleted” the image.

The interesting bit is that a month later,  when most users would expect the images to have been removed, the URLs were still working for 7 of the sites, including Facebook and Bebo.

The revelation comes just a day after Twitter users were alerted to the fact that the microblogging service retains postings after users think they have been deleted.

A posting including celebrity Jonathan Ross’s email address could still be found using Twitter’s advanced search facility after he realised his mistake and thought he had deleted it.

Facebook is insisting that images are removed from its servers “immediately” but a spokesman acknowledged that URLs continue to exist on the content delivery system until they are overwritten, according to the BBC.

This still means that users who believe they have deleted an embarrassing photo, may find that it is still available online.

It will be interesting to see if Facebook is forced to tighten up in this area because of privacy concerns, which led users to force an about turn in February when the social networking site tried to take ownership of user-generated content.