"Instant Personalization" the ICO speaks

So, annoyed with facebook's recent introduction of Instant Personalization I thought to complain to the ICO. I received the response below.
Caveat surfer.

I do wonder if in future we might not seek to understand how local legislation, enacted at the wishes the citizens of a country, might be brought to bear on an every growing global digital economy.


Date: 13 July 2010 10:00:38 GMT+01:00
Subject: RE: FaceBook and "Instant Personlization"[Ref. ENQ0309115]

13th July 2010

Case Reference Number ENQ0309115

Dear Prof McAuley

Thank you for your correspondence regarding the „Instant Personalization‰ function on the website Facebook. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you; this is due to the large caseload we are currently experiencing. Unfortunately, this has meant that we have been unable to deal with incoming correspondence as promptly as we would like.

As you may be aware, the Information Commissioner‚s Office is the UK‚s independent authority tasked with overseeing and enforcing the Data Protection Act 1998 (the „DPA‰). The DPA covers the processing of personal data (i.e. data which relates to a living individual) within the UK.

Unfortunately, as Facebook is based and operated from the United States, it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the DPA. We are therefore unable to pursue this matter.

You may find useful information in our guidance note „Using social networking sites safely‰

I am sorry that we cannot be of assistance on this occasion. If you have any further queries, please contact our Helpline on 08456 306060, or 01625 545745 if you would prefer to call a national rate number, quoting your case reference number.

Yours sincerely

Case Officer

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545745 F. 01625 524510 www.ico.gov.uk
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Written on July 20, 2010