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Facebook's New Terms of Service

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the are-we-really-worried-about-this dept.

Privacy 426

An anonymous reader writes "Chris Walters writes about Facebook's new terms of service. 'Facebook's terms of service (TOS) used to say that when you closed an account on their network, any rights they claimed to the original content you uploaded would expire. Not anymore. Now, anything you upload to Facebook can be used by Facebook in any way they deem fit, forever, no matter what you do later. Want to close your account? Good for you, but Facebook still has the right to do whatever it wants with your old content. They can even sublicense it if they want.'" Oh no! Now they'll be able to license your super flair goblin poke 25 tag history!

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426 comments

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No different to any google service (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26871635)

So why the drama?

Re:No different to any google service (4, Insightful)

pbhj (607776) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871697)

Facebook is specifically for private/personal data. Possibly it's more personal than even a gmail account - but do Google really claim rights to use and retain all your emails in perpetuity?

Re:No different to any google service (4, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871811)

How cares? If they can't profit from your data why should they even bother to keep it? Just toss it out like a cryogenic storage farm that doesn't want to buy any more liquid nitrogen.

Re:No different to any google service (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872011)

Like a what?! Dude, seriously, what's wrong with a car analogy?

Re:No different to any google service (5, Funny)

phantomflanflinger (832614) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872143)

You wouldn't steal a car analogy...

Re:No different to any google service (1)

teh g00se (1467307) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872025)

How indeed?

Paranoia (1)

sctprog (240708) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872137)

Do you really think anybody at Google cares about your booze fest the other night at the local pub? Or anything else you do?

The paranoia on Slashdot these days is getting out of hand.

Facebook? Meh! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26871649)

Don't use it. Never will.

Good luck America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26871657)

You are being raped by your president to the tune of $700 Billion.

It was nice knowing you..

Re:Good luck America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872087)

With interest (the Chinese don't loan our money back for free), it's over 1 trillion.

Current users? (5, Interesting)

carlvlad (942493) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871661)

How will they get agreement from current users? Does the TOS pops out the next time they login during the implementation?

Re:Current users? (5, Insightful)

echucker (570962) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871873)

Five bucks says that the current TOS already contains a clause that they can change it without prior notice. The users will never know.

Re:Current users? (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871985)

I'm a little sketchy on this one, can they actually do this? I mean, the users signed up under the expectation that copyright law would be honored. I don't think that they actually have a legal leg to stand on here. You can change the TOS so that new material uploaded will be owned by Facebook, but changing the TOS and expecting that to change the copyright on a lot of media retroactively? I only pray that this is what kills facebook so I can stop hearing people rant about how great it is and how I should join.

Re:Current users? (5, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871885)

How will they get agreement from current users? Does the TOS pops out the next time they login during the implementation?

From the first paragraph in the TOS:

We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change or delete portions of these Terms at any time without further notice. Your continued use of the Facebook Service after any such changes constitutes your acceptance of the new Terms.

Re:Current users? (5, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871925)

Yes, but if you discontinue use and disagree with the current terms, can you get them to delete you like they would under the old ones?

Re:Current users? (5, Interesting)

French Mailman (773320) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872041)

You will have to log in first in order to delete your account. So either log in now, which constitutes use of Facebook after the TOS have been published, and FB will keep the content you're about to delete, or never log in again and leave your content online for FB to do whatever it wants with it.

Facebook: helping you give away your privacy since 2003!

Re:Current users? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872073)

Yes, but if you discontinue use and disagree with the current terms, can you get them to delete you like they would under the old ones?

Good question. For some reason the cynic in me says that you'd need to contact them or fill out a special form requesting it. Of course, that contact info or form would only be accessible after you've logged in, thereby triggering the acceptance of the new TOS.

Re:Current users? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872111)

I can't recall where (sorry), but I'm fairly sure I read of a case recently (in the UK) where such clauses where held to be invalid - you can't agree to allow a contract to be unilaterally changed without notice and a getout option.

Re:Current users? (1)

c-reus (852386) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872125)

does navigating to the TOS page constitute using the Facebook Service?

w00t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26871663)

w00t w00t. I'm the first to reply for the first time!

Re:w00t (1)

Soiden (1029534) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871881)

Good for you, but being an Anonymous Coward makes that useless and worthless.

Re:w00t (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26871979)

and being a logged in user makes is less useless and worthless?

I escaped (1)

FreeFull (1043860) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871665)

I removed my account before the TOS changed. Thank god.

Re:I escaped (2, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871715)

It's retroactive.

Re:I escaped (1)

FreeFull (1043860) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871737)

Damn.

That's why I don't use the internet (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26871683)

It is a scam and a waste of time.

Uh, yeah! (4, Informative)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871691)

There's an ancient proverb describing the evolution of those ToS:

You get what you paid for.

Re:Uh, yeah! (1)

jasontheking (124650) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871823)

so if you paid for it .. they wouldn't change the ToS on you ?

Re:Uh, yeah! (2, Insightful)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871913)

Yeah - and if you paint your car green it'll get recepted as a tree. Your logic's somehow screwed up.

Seriously - what i wanted to say is this: You're using a free service which is provied by a commercial company. You really don't have to be surprised if they somehow seek ways to be profitable.

Re:Uh, yeah! (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872113)

False.

If you're using a service being run by a profit making entity in a public capacity, their rights to exploit their assets for profit are fettered by the public rights to the extent that their asset has become a public facility. This is a very old and well established legal principle.

You can't open a restaurant and then lock the doors once people are eating, saying anyone who walked in has to pay an exit toll due to a retroactive change in the conditions of entry.

Re:Uh, yeah! (1)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872169)

And exactly where does this rant contradict my statement?

Naive thinking... (5, Insightful)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871701)

Anyone who seriously thought that closing their Facebook account would immediately result in everything they'd released onto the Internet magically being recalled and returned to the realms of privacy is probably accessing their account during their one-hour-a-day computing time in the loony bin.

Who cares if Facebook can technically now use whatever you post forever. So could anyone who archived the page, or even took a screenshot. Not to mention that Facebook really aren't going to have the slightest interest in the average user, nor in using their content if and when they leave the site.

Re:Naive thinking... (5, Interesting)

carlvlad (942493) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871815)

I recall some time back on /. , when another social networking site (which I can't recall the name) did something like this. A fellow slashdoter comes up with an interesting approach by slowly replacing the contents with false data instead of deleting the account. I think that would work well providing the site does not maintain old archives.

Re:Naive thinking... (1)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871833)

And sure as hell - if you deleted your account it wouldn't have been deleted anyway. It just wears a "deleted"-flag so it isn't publicly displayed any more.

Re:Naive thinking... (1)

rarel (697734) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871981)

Just take the time to manually remove anything connected to your account, links, friends, photos, albums, notes, posts, emails, etc., and then explicitly request to have anything that's left *deleted* instead of just requesting that they close the account, you will have nothing left on FB.

That's what I did, even though they stated you only had to click the "request account deletion" button. It took the time it took, it was a pain in the ass, but nothing was left by the time I sent them my request for deletion. And even if the process is "simplified" now, I'd still do it again anyway, just to be sure.

Also, unless they're really really sneaky (which is still possible, but I doubt it), my account has been deleted for good: If I try to login now, it can't find anything. "Deactivated" accounts are always waiting for you in case you decide to join again.

Re:Naive thinking... (1)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872043)

Really? I don't think so - i don't know the table-structure of facebook but i worked with a few CRMs. And all of them stored everything forever. "Deleted"-tags were applied to every comment, picture, etc - but nothing got really purged. In the database structure everything was still available.

Re:Naive thinking... (5, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871847)

Not to mention that Facebook really aren't going to have the slightest interest in the average user, nor in using their content if and when they leave the site.

You say that now... wait till they license 1,000,000 pictures in bulk at $0.01/image to someone who publishes gay pin-up calenders... including that picture of you at the beach with your shirt off when you were 17...

Re:Naive thinking... (5, Funny)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872181)

including that picture of you at the beach with your shirt off when you were 17...

I don't think _anyone_ at /. has to worry about that.

Re:Naive thinking... (2, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871871)

Who cares if Facebook can technically now use whatever you post forever. So could anyone who archived the page, or even took a screenshot. Not to mention that Facebook really aren't going to have the slightest interest in the average user, nor in using their content if and when they leave the site.

If that's true, then I'd like to know why they added that into the TOS. Why claim the rights for something they supposedly don't even want?

Re:Naive thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872001)

Probably just so they don't have to go purge their backups or scrub drives or anything.

Re:Naive thinking... (3, Interesting)

mysticgoat (582871) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872077)

On the face of it, this policy makes sense if FB realized that they could not assure timely clean-up when somebody quit. Too much risk of being sued.

Avoidance of lawsuits is almost certainly the reason for their policy of taking ownership of anything posted to FB. It is an easy way, and perhaps the only way, of assuring that they can kill stuff that needs to be removed without being hassled with nuisance suits.

I don't see any way of running something like FB without these kinds of policies. The only surprising thing here is that FB didn't realize it needed ownership forever until recently.

Re:Naive thinking... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872191)

On the face of it, this policy makes sense if FB realized that they could not assure timely clean-up when somebody quit. Too much risk of being sued.

The only reason facebook would be unable to clean up material left by a given user in a timely fashion would be technical incompetence. We're not talking about a campus full of cork bulletin boards here, we're talking about a dynamic website backended by one or more databases. If they can't find all the data left by a given user, it's because they're completely incompetent big fucking idiots. So while that may be true, it's still no excuse.

The only surprising thing here is that FB didn't realize it needed ownership forever until recently.

They do NOT need ownership forever. They want it, and their customer base is stupid enough to give it to them.

Responsible entities inform you when the ToS has changed.

It remains to be seen if they have the legal right to retroactively grab copyright on all of that material.

There still was this thing called "copyright" (5, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871887)

There still was this thing called copyright, though. Anything you post is by default copyrighted to yourself. You don't even need to do anything special. So, yes, people could still have your photos in their browser's cache, but weren't legally allowed to do much with them.

E.g., just because I saved your family photo on my hard drive, doesn't mean I can cut and paste your daughter's head into an ad for condoms, nor as an ad for Adult Friend Finder, nor on top of a porn-star's body and sell subscriptions to that site, nor pretty much anything else.

A TOS which grants any entity full rights to your stuff, including to license it further, means pretty much just that: you forfeit any legal rights or recourses you might have had. If they want to use it for any purpose whatsoever, they can. You just gave them that right.

Re:There still was this thing called "copyright" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26871957)

except that... they should show the court where I signed that agreement.

Re:Naive thinking... (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871897)

Well I know one girl who was being stalked on Facebook.

So she immediately closed her account, which the original TOS said would erase everything and thereby "disappear" from the stalker's attentions. But if facebook can keep information and publish it, that means the data could still be available to said stalker (or future stalkers), and YES that means the new policy causes harm.

Or worse, an employer uncovering photos of your sorority sister drinking party which you thought was deleted, but facebook still has published somewhere publicly. Just a few months ago a local teacher was fired for an old college drinking photo from ~5 years ago.

Re:Naive thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872059)

"Just a few months ago a local teacher was fired for an old college drinking photo from ~5 years ago."

Do you live in Dubai? Or North Korea?

What right does any school, nay any body, to pass judgement on the legal activities of anyone that they employ? Indeed what right do they have to nose into the private affairs of any such person in the first place?

Disgusting. Land of the Free, lol.

Re:Naive thinking... (2, Interesting)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872271)

Who needs Big Brother when your friends will give for free all the pictures anyone would ever need to get you in trouble?

Re:Naive thinking... (2, Interesting)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871971)

Not to mention that Facebook really aren't going to have the slightest interest in the average user, nor in using their content if and when they leave the site.

Exactly. The people that really should be worried about what they put on there are those that stand to lose from the property they use to gain, ie corporations or entertainment personalities. I see this as a good thing. I find it annoying that grass-roots people form communities that later get raided by corporations looking to exploit and plunder them. I find it goofy when corps redirect you to "Go look us up on Facebook/MySpace/etc."

Politicians beware (3, Insightful)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871705)

Anyone who would aspire to a career in politics should find this very chilling I would imagine. Nobody cares that I wore a KKK costume to my last Halloween party, but I'm sure that the picture I posted of it would be worth a lot more when I am running for senate.

(note: I didn't actually wear a KKK costume)

Re:Politicians beware (4, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871827)

I'm curious how they can be sure it is you in the picture given the look of the full costume.

Re:Politicians beware (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871955)

Particularly for a public figure like a politician, an accusation doesn't necessarily have to be proven or even be true in order to have serious repercussions on one's career. Public opinion has much less rigorous standards than a court room, and opponents will generally be absolutely shameless in peddling negative stories about you, even if they know it's not true.

Re:Politicians beware (2, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871961)

I'm curious how they can be sure it is you in the picture given the look of the full costume.

That's where the power of social networking comes into play. If a bunch of other people have pictures of him in the KKK costume and tag it with his name, it verifies that he was the one running around in the costume. Now, apparently there are ways you can try to remove your name from other people's pictures, but I don't know the specifics of it or how much of a pain it is. (I've managed to avoid using Facebook so far--I started to sign up once about a year ago but was instantly turned away when they said "Give us your email name/password so we can go through your address book". Yes, I realize it was optional, but I just didn't like the fact that they were asking in the first place.)

Not really. (5, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871921)

You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof.

I know it is hip to get all hysterical over personal information that is already "out there", but I've highlighted the part that really matters.

In short, they can't do anything with it after you close your account that they couldn't do with it before you closed your account. And since you can change your privacy settings before you close your account this is pretty much a non-issue. Change all your settings to "Only My Friends", then remove all your friends.

Really, people, the only difference here is that they don't do you the service of making all your data inaccessible to the people who could access it before. And why should they? That would be like slashdot removing all your old posts when you remove your account. Yes, I know it's "personal" data, but my guess is your 'friends' are more of a threat to your privacy than Facebook. After all, the only legal consequence for your friends sharing that information is that they can be kicked off Facebook for violating the terms of service.

User Content - definition? (2, Interesting)

Fungii (153063) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871735)

How exactly do they define "User Content"? It seems that's pretty important.

Also - how well do these draconian EULAs hold up in court? Has there been a landmark test case yet? If their definition of "User Content" is a log of absolutely everything the user has uploaded/done then surely this must infringe on the user's right to privacy.

Data Protection Act (4, Interesting)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871749)

IANAL, but could someone, even if YANAL, please tell where this would come in under the UK's Data Protection Act?

Surely they can't keep such information if you want it to be removed.

Re:Data Protection Act (-1, Flamebait)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871781)

Oh please. What is the UK going to do about it? Try to tax their tea again?

Re:Data Protection Act (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871919)

IIRC the Data Protection Act doesn't allow you to demand removal of personal data by someone that you have previously provided it to.

They would, however, probably be required to provide you with a copy of any personal data that they hold on you at your request and they obviously wouldn't be allowed to provide it to anybody else without your express permission (Although the TOS may have granted them that permission when you signed up - whether it's legally binding or not is another matter entirely).

Well gee... (3, Funny)

Burgundy Advocate (313960) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871753)

I guess I'll stop backing up my code to "My notes".

Of course (1)

exloterum (1478921) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871757)

Oh, this doesn't surprise me at all.

nobody cares. (or should) (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26871765)

if you don't want your drunk, party, family reunion, college, work and so on photos being used as leverage against you in any way someone can find fitting, you still have the option of not posting them.

I hate "internetlackofprivacyphobia" (hey I just made that up.. bush has tought us so much) ..no one cares about your life, get over yourself. maybe you can be on one of those "look at all the happy and social people you can meet on the internet" outdoors that only creeps believe in.

Re:nobody cares. (or should) (5, Informative)

penix1 (722987) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871839)

if you don't want your drunk, party, family reunion, college, work and so on photos being used as leverage against you in any way someone can find fitting, you still have the option of not posting them.

That may be true but it doesn't stop me from posting that picture of you at the party with a lampshade over your head naked as a jaybird screwing that goat does it? Worse, it doesn't stop me from tagging that image "Anonymous Coward screwing around at the party. A must see" and allowing Facebook to index it.

Re:nobody cares. (or should) (1)

Caue (909322) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871953)

yeah gosh, we are all so afraid of getting cought with our pants down.. newsflash dude, 99,9% of those situations are self inflicted. grow a pair and stop bitching when you drunk ass gets to you.

So what? (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872157)

That's like saying laws against murder don't prevent you from murdering someone.

You'll be in violation of Facebook's TOS (many times over from what I can tell, moreso if the AC has not also agreed to Facebook's Tos). You'll also be in violation of several laws and I imagine open to civil liability as well.

Of course, you don't need Facebook (or even the internet) to distribute pictures (real or fake) of an AC having goat sex, so I tend to side with the GP on this one. A lot of the hysteria regarding privacy on the internet is akin to the "lolcomputerz" of the nature that gets applies to classic crimes now committed with computer.

Re:nobody cares. (or should) (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872063)

Sorry, according to recently released Whitehouse records the term is "Intarwebsprivatelessnessscardycats" or AmericaHaters for short.

Truly, people who posted pictures of themselves or their friends doing stupid things is just... well, human nature. Just look at the list of contenders for the Darwin awards. People are stupid, on the whole. I tried to tell my stepson that pictures of him dressed up like a gay looking movie character should not be posted to the Internet, even if it was just for Halloween. Seriously, try stopping the gay jokes now! It doesn't matter how good of a person you are, how big of a pillar of the community you are, how much you give to charity, how many Purple Hearts were awarded to you... you can be a fantastic guy, hero, respected and valued citizen all your life, but as soon as you get caught screwing one goat... it will say goatfucker on your tombstone.

I don't think people truly understand that. The people who don't are not likely to read the TOS anyway. It will be interesting to see what comes of this: perhaps a FaceBook style Darwin award? American Moron? Or will pictures be relegated to reality series style events? say a photo album island where 3D characters are modeled after the pics from canceled Facebook users. I'm sure they can find something that will make them money off your drunken brawl photos.

Delete it first? (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871801)

I guess you could delete everything first, such as your photos etc. obviously they have backups of the data but it's worth a shot.

Also, is it just me or is Facebook not as exciting as it was 18 months ago? I still go on there everyday, but I don't really do anything but read status updates.

Re:Delete it first? (1)

Manfre (631065) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871855)

Replace with place holder content and then delete. In many systems, deleting is a non-destructive action that just changes the status flag on the record. Replacing content is more likely to destroy the previous version.

Re:Delete it first? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872057)

Also, is it just me or is Facebook not as exciting as it was 18 months ago? I still go on there everyday, but I don't really do anything but read status updates.

it's just you. Facebook is exactly as exciting as it was 18 months ago, which is to say, *yawn*

Are there ANY social networking sites that aren't garbage? Orkut got taken over by Brazil, Facebook is evil, MySpace is a spam engine. (Not to mention that any social networking site that forces me to log in just to read a PM can FOAD immediately, kthxbye.)

Re:Delete it first? (1)

siride (974284) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872269)

Uhh, why would it make sense for you NOT to log in to read a PM? How else would they know you are the intended recipient? For that matter, how would they know which PM box to read you messages from? I can think of a lot of problems with social networking sites, but that's definitely not one of them. It's more of a faulty logic problem on the part of the OP.

is this a surprise? (5, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871809)

I'm not really sure why this should come as a surprise to anyone. I mean, do you guys have any idea how valuable that data is to a marketer? For instance, just getting your name and some contact information (through legitimate means, of course) is worth about $20-25 to a typical marketer. That's why companies are so willing to give you special sign-up offers all the time (amazon, buy.com, reward programs, credit cards, banks, etc etc etc). As soon as you start tacking any bit of information onto that basic profile (purchasing habits, interests, etc) that value starts climbing through the roof.

Now, think about what Facebook knows about everyone who's signed up. They have names and contact information. They have leisure-time activities. They have browsing profiles. They have entertainment interests. They have friend lists. And then throw that "25 things people don't know about me" thing that was going around a few weeks ago into the mix. Now they have that information, too. And people are just voluntarily giving all that info away. Of course they're going to hang onto that information (and sell it) if given the chance. What did you think they were going to do with it?

Re:is this a surprise? (5, Funny)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871891)

And then throw that "25 things people don't know about me" thing that was going around a few weeks ago into the mix. Now they have that information, too.
I wonder what the marketers will do with:

14) I will go out of my way not buy anything because of unsolicited marketing.

Re:is this a surprise? (1)

winphreak (915766) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871987)

Maybe I'm one of the few (if any) who doesn't mind my name, info, and habits are saved, but I just don't want to see my photos be used for something.

On a different note, reminds me of MySpace when I had my age set at 150 for some mild chuckles, and they mailed me saying to "correct" it or else they would cancel my account. Seems like that messed up their marketing trends.

This is a new level of low (1)

Firas Zirie (1179357) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871813)

Ok now this is seriously annoying. If they claim they can use my content while I am a member then that's probably acceptable since you can choose to deactivate your account at any time. But forever? I mean this probably won't affect most users but how about people who'd like to showcase their artwork/photography or something to their friends and family? They can just take it and use it for commercial purposes without consent and if you currently have them on their servers you have no chance of opting out? I'm wondering if they gave any warning about this change, but since I'm a relatively active Facebook user and haven't noticed anything I doubt it. The shame is that most people won't even have a clue about this.

Oh noes! (3, Insightful)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871817)

It's FACEBOOK.

Frankly, I'm even willing to say "If you put it on Facebook, it doesn't have any value anyway."

If you're such a creative genius, spend the 6$ per month for web hosting and make your own website.

Licensing your own content (1)

forrie (695122) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871835)

This makes me think of other unrelated services, that modify their terms.

Ultimately, what if I put a (c) indication in my original content, on any public service. Would that be equally enforceable under the law?

I say this with some sarcasm: Why can't I amend their ToS and send it to them, modifying the Terms of Use of my personal, original content? :-) I wonder if anyone has done this.

My question is (1)

quzer (1476395) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871837)

if I were to overwrite all of my information with crap and manually delete each pic, would they still have backups of my information? I'd like to think I can at least partly delete my information!

Re:My question is (1)

Blig (1167531) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872231)

if I were to overwrite all of my information with crap and manually delete each pic, would they still have backups of my information?

Unfortunately, they would.

I'd like to think I can at least partly delete my information!

Well... you see once something is on the internet (ie. through a web site, Usenet post, email list archive, web forums, etc.) it's pretty much there for good. Not too much you or I can do about it. That's why it's a good thing to always think about stuff before you post it or put it on a website.

It's the Deletion procedure (5, Insightful)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871849)

Facebook doesn't have an actual "deletion" procedure for accounts. When someone wants to "delete" their account, it is simply disabled and their profile is no longer accessible, nor does it appear in search results. Their name will still appear in tagged photos and on wall posts, etc, but it will no longer be clickable.

The only way to truly delete one's account is to remove oneself from all tags, delete all posts, remove all pictures and videos, and all other user stuff manually , then "delete" the account. The only way not to leave a trace is to bomb the footsteps.

I think the reason this exists is because Facebook does not handle foreign key deletion well, if at all. The deletion of a user profile record would have to cascade down through every table in the database, removing every instance of that user. Who knows how long that could take. It's easier to simply mark the profile inactive and handle that in software.

This license change allows Facebook to hold on to all of the stuff a user has uploaded even after the user has "deleted" his or her account. IMO, Facebook is using legal means instead of developing a technological solution to the problem.

Re:It's the Deletion procedure (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872035)

Actually, believe it or not, I think last year, I emailed Facebook directly and asked them to DELETE my account and they did it. When I tried to log in again, I could not, and the system didn't send me a confirmation email so I knew I was not "deactivated" either.

When I re-registered, I supplied the same email I had used before, and there was no "this user is already registered" warning, so again, I SUSPECT my account may have been permanently deleted, but without a fully transparent system its impossible to know for sure.

Re:It's the Deletion procedure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872233)

The deletion of a user profile record would have to cascade down through every table in the database, removing every instance of that user. Who knows how long that could take.

Not long at all, provided a normalized database structure with proper indexes. I'd sooner believe they simply have a different agenda for that data, rather than it's too difficult or time-consuming to delete.

Re:It's the Deletion procedure (1)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872257)

I know plenty of people who "Delete" their accounts only to start them up again later. They just don't like being on Facebook/searchable, except on their own time.

I'm sure that there are plenty of people who deactivate Facebook for stupid reasons... a friend sent them a mean message, a cute guy didn't friend them back, etc, and a week later, they want their account back. Facebook lets them get it all back without forcing them to re-upload hundreds of pictures and pages worth of information.

Not Surprising (4, Insightful)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871857)

Times are getting tough - FB need to start to find ways of actually making money, and pretty sharpish as well. The "2.0" days of wandering along to a VC like an extra from Beavis and Butt-head and saying "uh, yeah, kewl, man - we, like, need some more cash - yeah, 2.0, social, yeah" aren't going to wash any more.

Ad revenue is about to drop off a cliff (if it hasn't already), and loss making enterprises like FB - who's only revenue stream, other than VC funding rounds, was ad revenue - are going to have to start "monetizing" (what a lovely word for strip mining everything in sight) otherwise they will be in trouble.

Never forget Beacon. Their silent implementation of that privacy nightmare gives a brief view of their true intents - and that was done in the days when people were throwing money at them and they were being valued as being bigger than GM. Now the economic hardships are starting to bite I am not at all surprised they have attempted this.

It seems that.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26871867)

even though they have made this change to their Terms of Service (and you've agreed to arbitration), you could still prevent this from applying to you (since users were not notified of this change in ToS). An example of such a case can be found at http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20070729165004428 [groklaw.net] .

Re:It seems that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26871983)

Also, is it just me or does the part about User Content that says:

"(i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings"

mean that if your privacy settings are set to "Only Friends", they can only use your information and whatnot to target stuff towards your friends and no one else?

grrrr. (3, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871879)

well.. thats was FB says anyhow.

but we have yet to see this tested in a court of law, and I rather think we will.

after all, the bank could change their TOS to allow them to remove as much money from your account as they wanted - but they would soon be challenged in court and more importantly face a mass exodus.

so at this time, I'll take this with a pinch of salt.

besides, they are welcome to my trivial rantings and boring posts - its not like I would put anything important up on there.

Re:grrrr. (1)

howman (170527) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872017)

Ummmm... Banks can, and do... they use the money from your account to loan to other people or invest and give you interest for the ability to do so... Granted, they guarantee that your money is always there for you, so it actually isn't gone per say... Unless you are with BoM, or one of the other amazing institutions around Europe or America.

Re:grrrr. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872215)

but we have yet to see this tested in a court of law, and I rather think we will

Unless, of course, they can make that arbitration clause in the TOS stick.

I personally don't mind Facebook using my posted info for internal use (inside facebook and for promotion of facebook), but if I leave I don't intend to have them continue to use my stuff. I can see, in some cases, how that can make for a sticky situation, as every hard-coded ad (like a broadcast commercial) would have to be checked for use of content from anyone who had left, but - hey - if they want a perpetual license, just send me a note and ask. It's not like they don't have a way to contact me.

Once you upload or post it, it's no longer yours (3, Insightful)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871907)

That's been the rule of the Internet for nearly two decades.

Re:Once you upload or post it, it's no longer your (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872015)

That's been the rule of the Internet for nearly two decades.

Is that why at the bottom of slashdot it says "Comments are owned by the Poster."?

You are wrong in so many ways I can't even figure out where to begin. Luckily there is an excellent counterexample at the bottom of every slashdot page. Posting a comment like this to a site which explicitly states that you retain copyright proves only that you should never be allowed to post on slashdot again. Come back when you have two neurons to rub together.

Re:Once you upload or post it, it's no longer your (2, Insightful)

domatic (1128127) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872177)

Parent's post is the practical reality even if it isn't the legal reality. There are no practical means to stop anyone from using uploaded information in any way they see fit. Sure you can sic lawyers on them but that is dicey enough in your own country much less any other.

Which leads me back to the question... (1, Interesting)

rindeee (530084) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871927)

...I've always asked those I know who are FB'ers; why? I can see the curiosity factor in looking for people that you know who have put their lives on Facebook for the viewing pleasure (i.e. to get laughed at) of others, but what in God's name goes through a person's mind when they rationalize this being a good idea? We are a very mixed up society where we'll scream bloody murder about our privacy rights being violated only to turn right around and willfully divulge our entire lives on FB and sites like it. I firmly believe that it's only a matter of time until someone writes a FB plug-in for the new Google Maps mobile locator function so that your FB 'friends' can know where you're at every minute of the day. The human condition is apparently hell-bent on suicide.

Re:Which leads me back to the question... (1)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872141)

Depends upon how you are using it as the usages of Facebook ranges all the way from "I'm on it all the time and I update my status every 15 minutes." to "I check it once a week and use it for networking and keeping in touch with people I knew back in school."

Odds are the person that is using Facebook for networking isn't going to be too concerned with having any private information out there because they will likely not have much of it. However, the person that is always updating their status on Facebook might come to be concerned with what is out there as they get older.

I wouldn't be surprised if this works the same way as on some of the blogging sites where people would post a lot of entries when they were young that contained a lot of information that could be used against you if someone Googled your name prior to a job offer. Those types of blogs would suddenly start having less content in them as people went through and hid or deleted information. I would be willing to bet that the same thing will happen to Facebook.

Re:Which leads me back to the question... (1)

bebemochi (772144) | more than 4 years ago | (#26872219)

False dilemma much? There's middle ground between not being on Facebook and "divulging your entire life". As for a personal anecdote, I live in France but am originally from the US West Coast. Facebook is ideal for keeping in touch with family and friends in the US -- a lot less formal than email, more private than a blog (as in not just anyone can visit and see whatever's posted). I most emphatically do NOT "divulge my entire life", nor do I know anyone who does. It's "just" a way to see that X's new baby is cute, Y's cat is fluffy and silly, and Z's found a fun link or something. Done by email it'd be spam. But on Facebook, you have the choice, you don't HAVE to follow every last detail. Or if you want to, you can. It's a nice balance. All that said, I am concerned about Facebook-the-company's approach to privacy. But that's exactly why I'm careful about what I post, and why I recommend my friends do the same.

But you can always clean up before you leave... (1)

M4n (1472737) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871929)

I do see the deeper issue regarding privacy and the fact that they can hold this data after you have stopped using the service is a real problem. But as with all things there is a way around it: Unless you are a ridiculously prolific poster/commenter its not more than a few hours work to go through and remove every post, comment and photo you have put on there. I know that when I was applying for a job, soon after FB became huge, I went through this process as I DJ DnB in clubs a lot and had a lot of extremely messy and new-job-unfriendly pictures on there and various comments that would have been really inappropriate for a prospective employer to see. It wasnt too hard to do although it was a little time consuming.

Re:But you can always clean up before you leave... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872005)

yeah but remove!=delete

They can still use your content for what they please.

Saved Passwords? (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 4 years ago | (#26871989)

What about all of the 3rd party apps on Facebook that require your Gmail or Hotmail or whatever password? Don't get me wrong, giving anyone your e-mail password is just asking for it, but there are plenty of people who already have. What guarantee is there that their user info isn't being sold off to who ever? These days, a Gmail password is almost of good if not better than an SSN. Tax returns, notices from your creditors, all that fun stuff, virtually non deletable and waiting for exploitation.

Yeah man (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872069)

Wow yeah because the content spewed out by countless millions of irrelevent lumps of unsigntly flesh and hopelessly overblown "I'm a special snowflake" losers must of course be honoured protected and valued according to every whim of it's basement-dwelling moron "creator".

Meanwhile the sort of content that has actual value (eg that people actually give a c**p about) and whose creators depend on to feed and clothe themselves and their family is information that "wants to be free" or some such braindead anthropomorphised baby-talk software-communism slogan.

Apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872127)

OK, so what about say the flickr app? Does the fact that the image appeared on fb mean that it's bound bye the fb tos even though it was from another site (and another tos?)?

Suckas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872145)

All you suckas just got facebook pwned!

My Terms of usage (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872149)

They do realize that all my facebook photo's have water mark that includes my Terms of Service... "Unintended usage of this images with out my express written and notarized signature comes with a minimum $1,000,000 cost per case".

I have also a similar statement about my person data which I posted as my first items. Facebook is free to close my account if they disagree with my terms.

I look forward cashing in some day!

What if ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26872167)

I wonder what would happen if you posted something really nasty about someone doing something and that person would take you to court and you'd be ordered to remove everything you've ever posted regarding that incident? What if you posted a picture of someone kissing with a goat, then it would turn out the picture was photoshopped and you'd be ordered to delete it from all the places where you've posted it? Maybe you're even a good person and finding out that it was fake is enough for you to take action and try to undo the damage... what will FB do in that case?
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