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Meet Profile Engine, the “spammy” Facebook crawler hated by people who want to be forgotten - Quartz

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They have personal information about a half billion people.

The outcome of the litigation is unclear, but the two companies have no connection and Profile Engine has no access to Facebook data at the moment. “The majority of the data on Profile Engine was collected between 2007 and 2010,” the Kiwi company says. “Images were updated when possible until around the end of 2011. You should therefore not assume that information on Profile Engine is up to date, current or correct.”

It says that Facebook is contractually obliged to keep the public information on Profile Engine up to date. “Unfortunately since October 2010, Facebook have refused to keep this public data up to date and they refuse to notify us when data is deleted from Facebook or made private, therefore we cannot automatically delete data from Profile Engine when it is deleted from Facebook.”

Legal it may be, but people are not happy with the service. If you google “Profile Engine,” the majority of the results are instructions on how todelete yourself from the site. To get yourself off the site, you have claim your profile first on Profile Engine and then delete it. New Zealand’sprivacy commissioner says that “Profile Engine lawfully acquired and now holds the user data of around 450 million individuals” and adds that its methods do not breach personal privacy.

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