What information do Vkontakte and Telegram store about you?
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What personal information do social networks store? Like Vkontakte and Telegram messenger
Hi. Today I want to raise the topic of personal data protection and how it works with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To make it interesting, I’ll tell you about the example of the Vkontakte social network and Telegram messenger, which fall under this law. Relax and see what information they have about you and how you can get it on request.
What is the General Data Protection Regulation and w
hat is eaten?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation for working with personal data that has been adopted by the European Parliament. In general, it concerns EU residents, but there are points of interest that may also apply to the CIS countries. The essence of the document is to make the data storage process more secure and transparent for users.
The main feature of the GDPR is the user’s ability to request stored information, as well as the purpose, duration, and method of collecting and storing the information. In simple terms, if you are a resident of the European Union, and even without the citizenship of a country, you can request this information from any service.
GDPR fines amount to 20 million euros (about 1.5 billion rubles) or 4% of the company’s annual global revenue.
The fact is that when registering on the following site, everyone marks permission to process personal data on the device, and no one really reads what will happen with them and what kind of agreement there is. Sites can store this information randomly, sometimes even in unencrypted form. How many cases have major companies lost users’ personal data?
Now that this law is in effect, website and service owners must obtain approval for every data collection and processing process. The user can change his mind and withdraw his right, and the owner must completely delete the information. Not bad, is it?
How does it work in our reality?
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After the law came into effect, it was very interesting to consider the information that VKontakte stores.
To do this, it was necessary to send a request to these support and a dump was provided to the residents of the European Union with all the information stored from the moment of registration.
The file also contains deleted correspondence, as well as information about changing passwords and other important information from the moment of registration.
What information is stored in such an archive:
- Every date the name and surname change.
- Groups that are managed or currently managed by the user.
- Files were uploaded to VK, IP Address and City Name. It also stores deleted files and voice messages that were deleted from correspondence.
- All deleted files are stored in this file with links available to unauthorized users. It stores more, as simple files (PDF, etc.).
- List of saved photos, even from a closed album.
- The complete record of correspondence with all attachments, even the deleted ones.
- Complete history of the binding and obligatory numbers.
- History of recovering passwords for a page.
- Messages were left on the user’s wall (even if deleted).
Now there are some nice additions. Analyzing the answers to the technical support of VK, we can conclude that now any user from the Russian Federation can receive such data on his own initiative. Thus, you can also request all the information, see what messages you deleted, files you sent, and even what was removed from the wall or closed albums.
In compliance with the GDPR requirements, Telegram has created a special robot through which users can obtain their data. Now every EU resident can enter and obtain the necessary information. A little later it became possible to get information in the settings of laptop applications. To do this, you have to follow simple steps.
Go to the Windows or macOS app (Version should be higher than 1.3.8.). Next, you need to go to Settings, in the Advanced section, select the Telegram data export item.
It is also possible to choose which types of files you want to receive (photos, videos, and group correspondence). In the window that pops up, you can choose which data to download:
Information download will begin within 24 hours. This is in addition to his notification. This will be announced through a notification after the completion of the selection of the data you need. Additionally, it should be noted that there is no way to obtain the data stored in mobile clients.
What’s in the archive? :
- Name, surname and profile description.
- phone number.
- current and past avatars (also appearing on the profile).
- contact list from the phone (including numbers for unregistered Telegram users).
- List of closest contacts, created automatically.
- Private messages – sent and received – of all media content.
- messages sent to group chats and channels.
- active sessions.
- affixed and created stickers.
- Unsend Drafts.
- List of IP addresses that do not match addresses of active sessions.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a good choice for users. Companies now have to ask each time whether or not certain data can be stored.
The owner of the information can request the stored information, purpose and timing. This is very good, as you can control your information by making periodic requests for service. Also, it is very important for companies to delete information about you if you do not consent to the processing of personal data or revoke this right. The fines for this job are pretty impressive and nobody wants to pay 20L or 4% of the turnover.
The truth is that even if the company has a single customer from the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) must be followed. Such a punishment is very dangerous, and such large peaks as VKontakte feel very uncomfortable and go on a series of demands. You can read the case when a Polish student complained to the Polish Office for Personal Data Protection.