The New York Times has an article about the difficulties of leaving Facebook – or rather, ensuring that all your personal information is cleared off when you leave.
Briefly, to erase your presence there as much as possible, you should:
- Delete everything from your profile (Personal details, pictures, messages, wall posts, groups applications, etc.)
- Contact Facebook and request permanent account deletion.
- You should get a deletion confirmation – try logging in. If it asks if you want to reactivate your account, it hasn’t been deleted – bug Facebook.
More detail in the Facebook group How to permanently delete your facebook account (oh, the irony).
According to the Facebook terms and conditions, deleting all your uploads expires the license you give which allows Facebook to use them for whatever they want. However, they may still have copies on their servers. How much of your personal data is preserved when you delete it isn’t clear, and I wonder how that figures with the UK Data Protection Act.