Facebook Privacy Notice and Building a Dream Social Media Site
A friend sent me the text from a status update that is making its way around Facebook which is being referred to as the Facebook Privacy Notice:
PRIVACY NOTICE: 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
Snopes, of course, debunked this immediately. You can’t post something on your Facebook status that negates the TOS of the site and have it be legally binding any more than you can change the wording in a paper contract, sign it, and have your wording supersede the contract’s wording without agreement for your wording from the contract’s creator. When you sign up for a Facebook account, you accept their terms of service, and nothing you can do (beyond bringing a lawsuit against Facebook) can alter that contract. Joining Facebook, in and of itself, means giving up a bit of your privacy. And Mark Zuckerberg isn’t allowing you to change the contract to fit your needs.
I’m not surprised that a status update has made the rounds on Facebook; but what I am surprised at is that no one is saying, “this is what we want, so let’s create it.” People obviously don’t trust Facebook if they’re posting this since it stems from a belief that there were untold privacy changes now that Facebook is a publicly-traded company. The notice also contains:
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.
Privacy is obviously an important point for so many people, ranging from social media to the airports and TSA. And yet we also utilize these sites that compromise our privacy in a way that actually compromises our privacy. Meaning, if you don’t post something you want private on Facebook, you don’t have your privacy violated. But people do post things they’d like to have remain private on Facebook, which is this very possibly public forum.
Why isn’t someone stepping up and creating the dream site? Do we actually care about privacy or do we just like to grumble? (I’ll admit, I like to grumble.) How do we keep a social media social while putting a lot of restrictions in place, since we all know that private blogs are not as social as public blogs; don’t receive the same traffic, the same amount of comments. And how does one keep a site running and being a financially feasible entity without invading people’s privacy in the form of tracking for advertising or creating assets?
But moreover, what sort of TOS would that dream site have to have for you to leave Facebook and Twitter behind in order to join your friends in this new space? Would you be willing to give up your Facebook and Twitter accounts if someone created this fantasy TOS space, or would you continue to hold onto your old social media accounts, cross-posting the same material on all sites? That, to me, is the most interesting discussion of all.