Monday, November 26, 2012

A lot of people on Facebook have been re-posting this message:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!

(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.

Here's the tl;dr version if this post:
A hoax post has been flying around stating that if you repost it, you are legally protected from facebook and other entities from reposting your content, as well as using it against you. Unfortunately even though this post is for a good cause, it's not going to protect you at all.

Legally you already accepted Facebooks terms of service and that contract you have with them was established prior to your posting. You already gave consent to facebook to reproduce and copy your information. As well as gave them permission to manage your privacy on Facebook. You do however retain all ownership rights to your content.

Here's some more detail:

Upon registration you automatically agree to Facebook's terms and conditions as well as agree to any of the updates they make to these terms and conditions. You are already bound to them.

Here is a sumarization of What Facebook's privacy policy states in regards to your information

Every action you and your friends make on facebook is monitored and stored by Facebook. Some actions made on websites not owned by facebook are monitored through Facebook Like buttons, and Facebook login systems.

Information you deem "Public" is available to anyone on the internet, whether or not they are members of facebook, and whether or not they are in your friends list.

The following information is ALWAYS publicly available:

  • Your Name
  • Profile picture and cover photos
  • Network- schools you've attended, businesses you've worked at
  • Your Gender
  • Your Username and User ID
Facebook lists a ton of uses for the information you provide it so I'm not going to list all of them, but I'll list ones that some may find controversial or interesting.

  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of ads you and others see, including to deliver relevant ads to you;
  • for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.

The most important statement in their privacy policy is this:
While you are allowing us to use the information we receive about you, you always own all of your information. Your trust is important to us, which is why we don't share information we receive about you with others unless we have:
  • received your permission;
  • given you notice, such as by telling you about it in this policy; or
  • removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it.
The unfortunate part is "Of course, for information others share about you, they control how it is shared."

Facebook stores your information for as long as it feels necessary. Facebook as the right to scan your photos using facial recognition software.

For those concerned with their privacy and not okay with Facebook's policies, Facebook offers two options:

  • Account Deactivation - immediately hide everything from your account. Your information however is still stored in Facebooks servers indefinitely in the expectation you will some day return to reactivate your account.
  • Account Deletion - Your information remains on Facebooks servers for 90 days and then gets deleted. Some information isn't deleted, you're messages to others continue to be stored, as well as posts to groups.

If you choose to delete your facebook account but don't want to be completely out of the social networking circle. I highly recommend trying out Google +.  It's privacy settings are a lot easier to understand and are quite successful. Also Google tends to protect user information like a bank protects your information, they make sure you intentionally approve permissions that you give to apps and games.

Sources: Hoax SlayerSnopesFacebook's privacy policy,

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