Although Hyves has not existed since 2013, millions of old Hyves profiles can still be found online. VPNgids.nl discovered that the profiles are stored in online web archives.
Hyves.nl was a popular Dutch social network between 2004 and 2013, on which about ten million Dutch people had a profile. However, due to the rise of Facebook, the site became less popular and the network went offline in 2013.
Hyves got a restart as a games website Hyves Games, but the profiles disappeared from the internet. TMG did, however, keep the site in its possession at the time, such as usernames, passwords, first names, last names and e-mail addresses.
In 2018, TMG sold Hyves Games with most of the remaining data moving along, except for the passwords. The domain is now owned by the international media company Azerion, which, after asking VPNgids.nl, says it may still have data from old accounts.
Profiles can still be found
Although some data have been preserved, the profiles with photos and scraps were deleted in 2013. However, these profiles still seem to be findable online, because a sort of copy of the profile pages is stored in the online archive of Archive.org, a website that wants to archive as many web pages as possible for future generations.
The archives show that around nine million profiles have been preserved. If you remember your old username, you can look up if your profile can be found. You can do this by entering your username on web.archive.org followed by '.hyves.nl'. You can also click and view profiles of friends if they are archived.
Most copies were made in 2005 (not long after the establishment of Hyves) and at the end of November 2013, just before the network went offline.
Delete profile from the Wayback Machine
VPNgids.nl tried to contact Archive.org in February 2019 to ask how a profile can be removed from the archive, but received no response. Normally, only the owner of a website can submit such a request.
Because the data was public at the time of collection, archiving the pages is not punishable. However, Archive.org must comply with the AVG, because the site with the profile pages processes personal data.
Under the AVG you as a person have the right to view and delete personal data at an organization. If you want to have your old profile page removed, you can submit a written request to view and delete personal data with the data processor, in this case Archive.org.