Pictures that are deleted from Facebook accounts could still be accessible three years later, according to Ars Technica, a company that recently discovered this through an investigation of the social networking site.
It began looking into this situation around three years ago and what it found was that pictures that were deleted by users at that time can still be accessed and viewed today.
Despite the user's choice to disable the pictures Facebook's servers still have them up.
Facebook commented on Ars Technica's research and stated that the reason for this is that the older systems did not always delete content loaded by users within a reasonable timeframe. With the implementing of new systems, the content deleted by users should disappear from Facebook within 45 days.
"We have been working hard to move our photo storage to newer systems which do ensure photos are fully deleted within 45 days of the removal request being received," said Facebook rep Frederic Wolens to Ars Technica in an email.
"This process is nearly complete and there is only a very small percentage of user photos still on the old system awaiting migration," he continued. "We expect this process to be completed within the next month or two, at which point we will verify the migration is complete and we will disable the old content."
What this means is that users who have uploaded content onto the social networking site whether it has been deleted or not is easily accessible to anyone and cannot be tracked by the user who put it up in the first place.
This also makes having true privacy on Facebook virtually impossible.
Direct links to any photos can be maintained by someone right clicking on an image and selecting "Copy Image Location." That user will be able to access any deleted pictures until Facebook finds a way to correct this problem.