On the 14th December the UK Information Commissioner's Office set me an update on my complaint about Facebook's refusal to remove your data when you try to close your account. Here's what the ICO said:
I write to let you know that I am in the process of arranging a meeting with Facebook to discuss a number of privacy related issues. One of these is exactly that you have described in your enquiry. Since this would appear to be a policy Facebook apply to all user accounts, it would be useful if we could use your enquiry as an example of where the ICO believes Facebook policies may be unlikely to comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. It certainly appears that the answers you were given by Facebook do not exactly tally with their response to the story on Channel 4.
I believe that by discussing your case with them in the context of their general approach to privacy and personal data, this will assist Facebook in the process of ensuring that all their policies are compliant with the Act and all their users are treated fairly rather than simply achieving compliance in response to individual complaints.
So the ICO clearly believe that Facebook don't comply with the Data Protection Act, and they want Facebook to have a reasonable policy for allowing account closures, rather than forcing people to have to fight to get their accounts closed on a case-by-case basis, as I had to do. Hopefully the process of closing your Facebook account will become much easier in the not-too-distant future.