Facebook could face a fine of up to €100,000 (£87,000) after an Austrian law student discovered the social networking site held 1,200 pages of personal data about him, much of which he had deleted.
Max Schrems, 24, decided to ask Facebook for a copy of his data in June after attending a lecture by a Facebook executive while on an exchange programme at Santa Clara University in California.
Schrems was shocked when he eventually received a CD from California containing messages and information he says he had deleted from his profile in the three years since he joined the site.
After receiving the data, Schrems decided to log a list of 22 separate complaints with the Irish data protection commissioner, which next week is to carry out its first audit of Facebook. He wrote to Ireland after discovering that European users are administered by the Irish Facebook subsidiary.