Cease and Desist

Facebook-Derived Dataset Erased

A dataset that had compiled information from millions of Facebook profiles has been destroyed after the social-networking company threatened legal action. Peter Warden, a Boulder, Colorado-based entrepreneur, had planned to release the compilation to more than 50 researchers who had expressed interest in his project. The records mined more than 210 million public profiles, pulling names, friends, locations, and interests, to form a social graph illustrating the connections between users. Warden had planned to remove names so as to break any link between profiles and specific individuals. He assembled the data without Facebook's blessing, which violated the terms of service. Warden has since retreated and deleted his data, as he lacks the cash to take on the social-networking giant.