In 2014, Facebook asked an appeals court to block bulk search warrants that directed Facebook to produce, as Facebook’s lawyers state, “virtually all records and communications for 381 Facebook accounts”. Here is an interesting paragraph from Facebook’s opening brief (.pdf, June 2014) for the appeal that shows how Facebook itself reflects on the personal data that is collected:
People use Facebook to share information about themselves, much of it personal. This information often includes:
- The person’s age, religion, location, city of birth, educational affiliations, employment, family members, children, grandchildren, partner, friends, places visited, favorite music, favorite movies, favorite television shows, favorite books, favorite quotes, things “Liked,” events to attend, affiliated Groups, fitness, sexual orientation, relationship status, political views;
- The person’s thoughts about: religion, sexual orientation, relationship status, political views, future aspirations, values, ethics, ideology, current events, fashion, friends, public figures, celebrity, lifestyle, celebrations, grief, frustrations, infidelity, social interactions, or intimate behavior;
- The person’s photographs and videos of: him- or herself, children/family, friends, third parties, ultrasounds, medical experiences, food, lifestyle, pets/animals, travel/vacations, celebrations, music, art, humor, entertainment;
- The person’s private hardships meant to be shared only with friends; and
- The person’s intimate diary entries, including reflections, criticisms, and stories about daily life.