We figured now’s a good time to get the word out about our encrypted Facebook chat, now that the news has broken on exactly how much data Facebook collects about you.
Facebook collects and stores information in at least 57 different categories, including chats.
Facebook draws a distinction between the old chat system, which wasn’t linked to your private messages/inbox, and the new one, which is. Chats in the new system, the one you’re using right now, are stored forever, while chats in the old system were stored but ultimately deleted after a period of time.
The website Europe-v-facebook.org reports that you cannot delete your Facebook messages and chats. Even if you hit “delete,” you’re only making them invisible to you: Facebook and law enforcement agencies can still access them, and Facebook is a major source of evidence in all sorts of lawsuits, particularly divorces. (Another interesting fact: more courts are allowing plaintiffs to serve legal documents through social networks.)
So what can you do to protect your Facebook conversations?
Encrypt them. Our completely free bookmarklet will encrypt your chats using a secure encryption algorithm called Blowfish that’s a well-known standard in the security industry.
So although you’re typing,
I hope facebook can’t see this!
and both you and your chat partner can read it like normal, anyone else would see something like,
For a step-by-step, pictoral tour and more technical details about how encryption works, visit our encrypted facebook chat page.
Note that although citizens of the European Union have the right to access all the data that websites store about them (and can make their request to Facebook here), we’re not so lucky in the US. Let’s keep pushing for that right, guys!
About Abine: Abine, Inc., The Online Privacy Company, is the leading provider of online privacy solutions for consumers. Abine’s products and services allow regular people to regain control over their personal information while continuing to browse, interact, and shop online.