Sunday, October 20, 2013

Facebook Privacy Notice - as posted by users

I cannot tell you how many times I've seen people posting messages on Facebook asking me to hover over their name and change the settings in my feed so that the public at large cannot see their posts. If I change the settings so that I cannot see your posts or pictures in my news feed, then why are you bothering to post?  And why am I bothering to be your FB friend?

Recently, I've been seeing posts like this:  "I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future."

Well, guess what?!  You can't do that!  Well, actually, you can, but it doesn't mean anything.  It's not unlike signing a contract to buy a house then writing on a piece of paper (on your own,without the seller's consent or agreement) that the seller is responsible for anything that goes wrong with the house from that date forward.  Contracts don't work that way; neither does Facebook.

In response to seeing all of those posts, I posted this:

To everyone posting these messages that you are letting FB know that they cannot use your profile or anything you post to FB, please know that you cannot presently or retroactively alter your user agreement with FB.  Read the user agreement then decide if you can live with those conditions.  If you do not like the fact your information may become public, then don't use Facebook.

It's easy to find the Facebook User Agreement (you know, the one you haphazardly scrolled passed and checked the box saying you read it before you could have initial access to your account...the one you KNOW you didn't read...Yep, that one!).  On a laptop or desktop computer, scroll to the bottom of a Facebook page and click on the link to Terms.  You'll see something called "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities."  (Interestingly enough, the subtitle to that statement is "Terms you agree to when you use Facebook.")  The same information can be found on mobile versions of Facebook.  Go to the "More" menu and look for "Terms & Policies."  Again, you'll see the Statement.  There is also a Data Use Policy - regarding the information received and how it's used.

Before you post another of those useless messages warning Facebook how they can't use the data you are posting, take a few minutes and read your agreement.  If you can't stomach what Facebook might do with your information, then disable your account.  Thanks! 

[NOTE:  I'm sure that somewhere in that User Agreement, Facebook reserves the right to change the User Agreement; Facebook does change it periodically.  If you have concerns about your information, read the agreement every now and then.]

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