I noticed another round of ‘status spam’ in my Facebook feed today. This related to a PRIVACY NOTICE because Facebook is now a publicly traded entity.

In the first instance, the information seemed pretty succinct but then my logic circuits kicked in…. how did Facebook become a public entity affect our privacy?  I was 95% certain the two were unrelated, after all being listed publicly means you can sell shares in the company… what else you sell is controlled by other laws and constraints.  However, I’m not a legal expert and maybe there was something that I had missed, so I did some digging.

Checking out Hoax Slayer, I found their posting: Completely Pointless and Misleading ‘Facebook Privacy Notice’ which confirmed my misgivings – it is just another round Facebook status spam…

Facebook provide us with Privacy controls – we CAN control (to a degree) who see’s what on our profiles, timelines and feeds.  Then there is the small matter of the various Terms Of Service implemented by Facebook, that we agree to when we open a Facebook account.  The “Sharing Your Information and Content” section is must read:

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
  2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
  3. When you use an application, your content and information is shared with the application.  We require applications to respect your privacy, and your agreement with that application will control how the application can use, store, and transfer that content and information.  (To learn more about Platform, read our Privacy Policy and Platform Page.)
  4. When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).
  5. We always appreciate your feedback or other suggestions about Facebook, but you understand that we may use them without any obligation to compensate you for them (just as you have no obligation to offer them).

What does this really say?  If you share anything that is protected by Intellectual Property Rights (like Photo’s, Video’s, manuscripts, books, poems etc), you are granting Facebook the right to use that content however it sees fit, forever without paying you anything for it.  This means, if you take a photograph and upload it to your Facebook album, Facebook may take that photo and use it in an advertising campaign, put it on greeting cards or sell the license to use to another organisation — and you receive NOTHING for it’s use.

If you are truly concerned about your Privacy on Facebook, make sure you review your Privacy Settings and KNOW what you’re making public, or who can see which content….

And of course, there is that fabulous golden rule:  “If you don’t want it made public, DON’T SHARE IT”.

For those who are interested, this was the post I saw in my Facebook Feed:

Those of you who do not understand the reasoning behind this posting, Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.

Warning -any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other “picture” art posted on my profile. You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control. The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

About the Author Charly Dwyer

Charly has more than 30 years experience in the IT industry ranging from hands-on technical, to high-level business management, Charly has installed and configured computing equipment and has managed business contracts in excess of $25 million dollars.

As a result, Charly identifies the best way to integrate solutions and technologies for the most cost effective way to achieve a businesses outcome.

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  1. Hi Charly, I also saw that post in my facebook feed – i suppose having it there is a good safety measure.  Thanks for sharing this info.

  2. Hi Charly, I also saw that post in my facebook feed – i suppose having it there is a good safety measure.  Thanks for sharing this info.

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