If you haven't heard of Max Schrems I expect that you will. And what you hear may well affect how sites, especially social media platforms behave.
24 year old student lights match: Europe versus Facebook, Kim Cameron's Identity Weblog, 13-October-2011.
And there is more.
Max is a 24 year old law student from Vienna with a flair for the interview and plenty of smarts about both technology and legal issues. In Europe there is a requirement that entities with data about individuals make it available to them if they request it. Thatís how Max ended up with a personalized CD from Facebook that he printed out on a stack of paper more than a thousand pages thick (see image below). Analysing it, he came to the conclusion that Facebook is engineered to break many of the requirements of European data protection. He argues that the record Facebook provided him finds them to be in flagrante delicto.
The logical next step was a series of 22 lucid and well-reasoned complaints that he submitted to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (Facebook states that European users have a relationship with the Irish Facebook subsidiary). This was followed by another perfectly executed move: setting up a web site
...then opened its own YouTube channel. ...found its way to reddit where it ended up on a couple of top ten lists. So many people applied for their own CDs that Facebook had to send out an email indicating it was unable to comply with the requirement that it provide the information within a 40 day period.
Very interesting reading.
And another illustration of the power that the internet provides the individual.
And the value of the data we so casually share about ourselves and others.