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UK data watchdogs drop Facebook probe

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The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is now satisfied that Facebook is letting people escape the bear hug of its data retention policy, it said today.

The national data watchdog is to stand down its investigation of the site, a spokeswoman told El Reg today.

Facebook attracted the ICO's attention last November after complaints over its infamous "Hotel California" policy on people who want to leave the network. Until very recently, it was only possible for members to deactivate their account, not delete it.

US pressure from an article in the New York Times prompted a change less than two weeks ago (see "Please don't leave me... bitch").

The ICO's spokeswoman said: "It's really good to see they've taken on board our concerns on an informal basis. We've established they are now complying with the guidelines."

It's one less headache for Zuckerberg and co, who are finally feeling the heat from the mainstream UK press now their site's growth appears to have topped out (see here and here). It's just a shame such a small concession to the people it is hoping to build its alleged business on took Facebook so long, really. ®

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