More than nine million Hyves profiles can be found online via archiving website The Wayback Machine, according to a tip from VPNgids.nl on Wednesday.
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.
After the site went offline, the profiles with photos and scraps were removed. However, almost all profiles are still findable online, because copies of the profile pages are 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 see if your profile can be found by entering your username on web.archive.org followed by '.hyves.nl'. You can also click and view archived profiles of friends.
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 General Data Protection Regulation (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 ask Archive.org to inspect and delete personal data in writing.
Login data may be saved after restart as Hyves Games
After Hyves went offline as a social network, the platform was relaunched as a gaming website, Hyves Games. It is possible that TMG, which held the site at that time, stored data such as usernames, passwords, first names, last names and e-mail addresses.
TMG sold Hyves Games in 2018. Most of the remaining data moved with the exception of 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.