Facebook hasn’t been particularly efficient when it came to deleting users’ photos from its servers. In some cases, users were able to access the photos on their direct URLs even a year after deletion. However, the social network seems to have put in place a far more efficient solution which deletes the photos within 30 days of removal by the user.
In the past, it has been reported that Facebook took a painfully long time to delete users’ photos from its servers. The problem with this was that suppose you uploaded a really embarrassing picture by mistake and then had it removed. But if you have a direct URL to the image, you were still able to view it. In fact, in some cases, it took Facebook more than a year to delete a photo.
In comparison, Twitter and Flickr had been far more efficient and they took mere second to delete the photos from their content delivery networks (CDNs) after a user removed them. It was rather disappointing for many users that Facebook wasn’t able to figure out a way to do so too.
For some time, Facebook simply refused to admit it, stating that photos were kept only for a ‘limited amount of time.’ But in February, it had to come out and a spokesperson for Facebook, Frederic Wolens, admitted, “”The systems we used for photo storage a few years ago did not always delete images from content delivery networks in a reasonable period of time even though they were immediately removed from the site. We have been working hard to move our photo storage to newer systems which do ensure photos are fully deleted.”
However, the good news are that the social network finally seemed to have updated its photo deletion mechanism which has surely sped it up. Some users have even reported that they were able to have their photos removed within two days. Officially, Facebook has stated that the photos will be removed in a maximum of 30 days.
Wolens stated this week, “As a result of work on our policies and infrastructure, we have instituted a ‘max-age’ of 30 days for our CDN links. However, in some cases the content will expire on the CDN much more quickly, based on a number of factors.” Also clarifying on the deletion by the user compared to the removal from the servers, he said, “As you know, the photos stop being shown to other users on Facebook immediately when the photo is first deleted by the user. The 30-day window only applies to the cached images on the CDN.”
This is definitely great news since it goes on to fortify a user’s privacy and the security of his data, in this case photos.
Courtesy: Ars Technica