Facebook Blasted By Regulators For Holding Onto Sensitive User Data For Too Long

Over the years, Facebook has been fined billions of dollars in Europe for its reckless handling of user data and treatment of privacy issues. And now, the company finds itself in trouble for the same old problems, except this time privacy advocates and regulators are grilling Facebook about why it hangs on to sensitive user data for so long.

The case was originally brought before regulators by longtime Facebook foe Max Schrems, a European privacy advocate who is estimated to have cost the company over one billion dollars in fines. Regulators agreed with his point that Facebook holds onto user data for too long — however, the opinion they issued isn’t legally binding.

“At the moment, the online advertising industry simply stores everything forever. The law is clear that the processing must stop after a few days or weeks. For Meta, this would mean that a large part of the information they have collected over the last decade would become taboo for advertising,” Schrems’ lawyer wrote in a statement. “Meta has basically been building a huge data pool on users for 20 years now, and it is growing every day. If the Court follows the opinion, only a small part of this pool will be allowed to be used for advertising — even if have consented to ads.”

Time will tell if the courts base real legal action on this opinion. However, if history is any indication, European judges are likely to crack down on Facebook’s privacy practices if they have the chance.

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