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Facebook: the Law Says You Can't Have Your Data

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the just-following-orders-from-ireland dept.

Cloud 165

An anonymous reader writes "After making 22 complaints regarding Facebook's various practices, the Austrian group Europe versus Facebook stumbled upon an important tidbit: Facebook says it is not required to give you a copy of some of your personal data if it deems doing so would adversely affect its trade secrets or intellectual property. I followed up with Facebook and learned the company insists the law places 'reasonable limits' on the data that has to be provided."

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Skeptical (4, Insightful)

nonprofiteer (1906180) | about 3 years ago | (#37705456)

I've looked into this, and I'm fairly certain that the particular piece of information that Facebook is holding back from these (800+ page) reports is a user's biometric faceprint. Claiming that the code for those prints is Facebook's intellectual property does NOT strike me as unreasonable.

Re:Skeptical (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 3 years ago | (#37705868)

I hate Facebook.
I have to admit though this one is a bit of a stretch.
I am not saying do not hate Facebook.
I am saying hate Facebook for 80,000 other reasons.

Re:Skeptical (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 years ago | (#37705908)

it's no different than claiming a photo of me is facebooks intellectual property. New format, same old argument.

Re:Skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37707254)

your photo /is/ in fact facebook's intellectual property. it's very clear in the T&C anything you put is theirs forever.

Re:Skeptical (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 3 years ago | (#37705926)

Where did they get the user's biometric faceprint from? Probably from their photos, in which case I would argue that they shouldn't be using a trade secret that results in information they would have to disclose by law. Either that or else they should transform the faceprint into something that wouldn't reveal the information they want to keep secret.

Re:Skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706134)

Your COPYRIGHTED photos. Creating derivative works.

Re:Skeptical (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37706292)

Fortunately, when you clicked the 'I agree' button, you gave Facebook a commercial, transferable, sublicensable, license to anything that you uploaded, and you agreed that you owned the copyright, or the right to make such a grant, on everything that you uploaded.

Re:Skeptical (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 3 years ago | (#37706460)

You clicking "I agree" does not give Facebook the right to my face just because you uploaded a picture of me. Or at least it shouldn't.

Re:Skeptical (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 3 years ago | (#37706464)

That is precisely why I keep a "clean room" guy on retainer. Any time I will be installing/registering any software/service I leave the room. When I come back the software/service is magically installed/registered. I actually hired another guy to find the guy. That way I don't even know who he is. I just leave the money on the table next to the keyboard.

Plausible Deniability BABY!

Re:Skeptical (1)

TechLA (2482532) | about 3 years ago | (#37706542)

By using or accessing Facebook, you agree to this Statement.

Yeah, doesn't help you much.

Re:Skeptical (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 3 years ago | (#37706742)

And if someone else uploads an image with me in it... without my consent or possibly even without my knowledge?
How does my visage become their "intellectual property"?
What if I don't even HAVE a fB account but someone puts my photo out there?
I have agreed to nothing and they can't derive my permission from someone else.

Re:Skeptical (1)

TechLA (2482532) | about 3 years ago | (#37706976)

You don't hold a copyright to that image. The person who took the photograph does.

Re:Skeptical (1)

Anonymus (2267354) | about 3 years ago | (#37707196)

That's true, but unless they got a model release...

Re:Skeptical (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | about 3 years ago | (#37706772)

Fortunately, when you clicked the 'I agree' button, you gave Facebook a commercial, transferable, sublicensable, license

Caution: IANAL

No, I didn't. Contract law, on behalf of the signatory, assigned them those rights. Because that contract was non-negotiable, I didn't "give them rights" (note active voice); the "rights were assigned" (passive voice) as per posted notices.

Now, do I have a terrible problem with this? No, but that fact depends on one critical conceit: that the party writing the non-negotiable agreement is not using heady legal language to allow them to commit crimes or other injurious behavior while staying within the letter of the law. This is the major problem; nobody, good or evil, writes negotiable user agreements for software or similar user services, and the good and evil contracts are sufficiently close in length and form that it takes a legal expert to tell the difference. This shifts the balance of power away from both signatories and towards the legal system, which is only a good idea if the legal system is both vigilant and trustworthy. Vigilant, because preventing the abuse of contract law requires an examination of the contract before it is signed (or before it is given legitimacy by the court or its agents), and trustworthy, because it is remarkably easy to sweep abuse of contract law under the rug, simply because the victim is a signatory and is therefore assumed to have fully understood it.

I don't trust the US legal system to be vigilant or trustworthy when it comes to abuses of contract law, and I have seen absolutely nothing that suggests this will change.

Re:Skeptical (1)

dan828 (753380) | about 3 years ago | (#37706966)

“If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, “the law is a ass—a idiot." Seems to fit. Apologies to Dickens.

Re:Skeptical (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 3 years ago | (#37706650)

you gave them the right to transform and copy the images by uploading them if you read the TOS.
Now of course we assume that transform == resize and embed tags, and that copy == into database, but that does not preclude this particular derivative work either.
-nB

Re:Skeptical (1)

Qwertie (797303) | about 3 years ago | (#37706204)

It's odd that neither of the ZDNet articles (to which Slashdot has linked in recent days) tell us what information Facebook is said to be holding back. So what information are you withholding from us, ZDNet? Is the story not juicy enough if it is too specific?

Re:Skeptical (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 3 years ago | (#37706278)

You can't copyright facts. A person's face is a fact as much as their fingerprint is. Once it's distilled into purely factual data, they can't really claim ownership of it, since that's effectively claiming ownership of my face.

Re:Skeptical (1)

ckaminski (82854) | about 3 years ago | (#37706532)

Except you very much DO own your likeness and it's use thereof.

Re:Skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706716)

Except Facebook is a massive entity, and we're just insignificant people. If they put enough money into it, I'm sure they can somehow claim full legal ownership, and then legally force you to pay them a monthly fee for using their owned likeness, or have to surgically alter your face. At your expense, of course.

Re:Skeptical (1)

mcavic (2007672) | about 3 years ago | (#37706430)

Data that I provide to Facebook cannot constitute a Facebook trade secret.

If Facebook is creating derivative data, then that data is theirs and they don't have to give it to me or tell me about it.

Re:Skeptical (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 3 years ago | (#37706598)

And, by the massively transformative process of quadruple ROT-26 (after base64 encoding, and followed by base64 decoding), they are creating derivative data which is ALL THEIRS. THEIRS THEIRS THEIRS ALL THEIRS MWAHAHAHA!

And a trade secret, too, so completely immune to your puny powers of "Freedom of Information" and "Data Rights".

Sad trombone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705478)

Hot off the presses yesterday
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/10/12/226257/facebook-your-personal-data-is-a-trade-secret

Dupe (2)

TechLA (2482532) | about 3 years ago | (#37705496)

Re:Dupe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705552)

No it isn't. The link is in the story and this is a follow up!

who fucking cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705518)

use facebook, expect data rape.

that facebook users willingly give up information that later burns them is digital-age darwinism.

Re:who fucking cares? (1)

MichaelKristopeit412 (2018834) | about 3 years ago | (#37705958)

or to quote the CEO mark zuckerberg, it makes them "dumb fucks"

Re:who fucking cares? (1)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37706890)

or to quote the CEO mark zuckerberg, it makes them "dumb fucks"

Wow. That's the closest thing to a useful, relevant contribution I have ever seen you make. I shall refer to you as "Number 412" to distinguish you from all the other sockpuppet accounts, at least until such time as they follow your example and post something that isn't completely worthless.

Number 412, you earned it. Yes, you are but one insignificant clone sockpuppet account of many insignificant clone sockpuppet accounts, but you stand out above all the others. You give slight credibility to the idea that the owner of these clone sockpuppet accounts may yet achieve a semblance of mental health.

Yes yes, why do you cower, you're a worthless feeb, etc etc. Just take a damned compliment.

Re:who fucking cares? (1)

MichaelKristopeit416 (2018860) | about 3 years ago | (#37706980)

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

cower in my shadow some more behind your chosen repercussions based pseudonym, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:who fucking cares? (2)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37706090)

I don't use FB, I hope you're not suggesting that I have no reason to be concerned about what FB might have on me indirectly.

I'm really sick of this trend (5, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 years ago | (#37705542)

If I have any sort of interaction with any company besides a pure cash transaction, somehow I'm ceding all rights to my information. I get more calls on my landline from 3rd party vendors who've purchased my profile from some company than I do from people I know. I bought a house 4 years ago and my mailbox was stuffed with targeted new homeowner fliers on the first day I opened the mailbox. I filled a prescription with an online pharmacy and now I've got people calling me trying to sell me all kinds of healthcare products. I bought one political magazine prescription (more out of pity than interest) and now I get tons of fliers and ads from special interest groups. I made a few small dollar donations ($20 range) in the last couple elections and now I have politicians from all over the country both calling and writing me for donations!

We need a privacy bill of rights. Opt-in, full disclosure, and deterrent-level fines and fees for breaking the rules.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (4, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 years ago | (#37705606)

You did opt-in. Did you not read the TOS? It's your own fault for not reading it fully.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (2)

Lord Balto (973273) | about 3 years ago | (#37705716)

So, what? I'm supposed to go live in a cave? When you have to "opt in" in order to get a service you need, that's coersion in my book.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 years ago | (#37705770)

Because without facebook you would whither up and die, right? Oh wait, you wouldn't.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37706110)

No, hyperbole aside, there's an increasing number of things that one is locked out of if one doesn't choose to do business with FB. Things like contests and sometimes jobs. It's scummy, but there are employers that insist upon having access to view a potential employees FB page, even though it's extremely poor judgment.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37706220)

So facebook is to social networking what microsoft and windows are to personal computers.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

lynnae (2439544) | about 3 years ago | (#37706266)

how would it be detrimental the the job process then if you didn't have a facebook page.
The employer asks to see it, you say "I don't have one", then what, they accuse you of lying?

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

Killall -9 Bash (622952) | about 3 years ago | (#37706604)

No, they just don't call you for a 2nd interview.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 3 years ago | (#37706294)

No, hyperbole aside, there's an increasing number of things that one is locked out of if one doesn't choose to do business with FB. Things like contests and sometimes jobs. It's scummy, but there are employers that insist upon having access to view a potential employees FB page, even though it's extremely poor judgment.

Interesting...I've seen none of this. I have never been on FB...and have no problems not being on it.

I think there was an article here on /. about some service...(spotify?) that required a FB account, but that's about all I've ever seen.

Employment based on having a FB account? Hmm..what level jobs are asking for that? I've certainly never had it come up with any tech jobs I've looked at, had or interviewed for....

Can people cite specific examples of job requirements to have a FB account? I don't often enter contests...with some exceptions and those I use throw away email addresses to try to keep the spam level down...but since I don't enter that many, there may be some with FB requirements, but if I ran across those, I'd just figure it wasn't worth my time on that one....

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37707134)

Can people cite specific examples of job requirements to have a FB account?

As former Law Enforcement I can tell you that FB is a great way to be fired or placed on Administrative Leave. Also, it can cause you to be declined for promotions or with other departments

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 3 years ago | (#37706680)

I have yet to encounter an employer that requires this either personally or through my friends.
I had one friend who's employer asked if he had a FB page. He said he did but that it was marked private. They did not pursue it further.
-nB

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 years ago | (#37705804)

When you have to "opt in" in order to get a service you need

Need? I won't argue that this isn't sometimes the case, the idea that you must hand over this information for basic services like your ISP or other utilities is very concerning. But this is Facebook we're talking about here. No one needs Facebook. You might want it, and it might make it easier to stay in touch with your friends and family, but you don't need it. It's up to you to weigh your personal information against the service they provide; to reiterate, you are paying for their services with your personal information.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

migla (1099771) | about 3 years ago | (#37706258)

>No one needs Facebook.

Facebook is a de facto standard. You also don't need ears or a voice. It's just helluva lot easier and more convenient to communicate if you have these things, depending on your surroundings.

Myself, I've so far resisted signing up, but it has meant I don't hear or get heard as easily among facebooking peers, of which there are plenty among friends, family and acquaintances.

I'd say there is an unfair balance of power between facebook and the little person, which will lead to the little person being coerced into accepting unfavorable terms, as the alternative of being an outsider may feel even worse.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 years ago | (#37706548)

Look at it this way. Imagine you're trying to give a speech, but the people in the back of the room can't hear you. I've got a bullhorn handy, is it my duty to give it to you so that you can be heard? What if I make my living by renting out bullhorns to public speakers? If I ask you for $1 in exchange for the bullhorn is that wrong?

I never said it didn't make life easier, in fact I said quite the opposite. All I said was that it wasn't a requirement to have a normal healthy life, and considering you yourself are able to live without it I can't see how you can disagree with that. They offer a product, they trade access to said product in exchange for your personal information. If your information is more valuable to you than their product, don't sign up.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706652)

or do as I do and enter false or at best semi accurate identifying information to your fb profile. Never link to your family members online and accept the trade on that basis.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

Anonymus (2267354) | about 3 years ago | (#37707224)

What do you use facebook for if not letting family members know what is going on in your life or connecting with your real-life friends?

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

Lisandro (799651) | about 3 years ago | (#37707214)

Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom of audience. You have the right to say whatever you want, as much as the rest of us have a right to ignore you if we decide so.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

fhic (214533) | about 3 years ago | (#37706748)

Yes, need.

My local paper of record (the San Diego Union-Tribune) REQUIRES a valid Facebook account to comment on everything they publish online. Given that I'm not quite willing to forgo my right to comment publicly on what they publish, I need to have a Facebook account.

(I leave the idiocy of their decision for another comment.)

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

citylivin (1250770) | about 3 years ago | (#37707252)

"My local paper of record (the San Diego Union-Tribune) REQUIRES a valid Facebook account to comment on everything they publish online."

Awwww.. Now you can only comment on thousands of other non broken message boards! the horror!

The only people that use facebook are people who did not grow up learning that you should NEVER use your real name online. I have managed perfectly fine without a facebook account and stating that you *need* one is just laughable.

Personally, I would rather leave the world wide web than post my real name and picture online. Facebook is vanity pure and simple.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 3 years ago | (#37706056)

... get a service you need, ...

If you think you "need" Facebook, the odds are that you need faceslap instead (and maybe a lot of it).

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 3 years ago | (#37706120)

Coercion would be when you have to opt-out.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706906)

so you didn't read it, this will happen soon
http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/382781/business-casual-g-men

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705972)

"That's the way it is" is all well and good, but the average person shouldn't be required to be well-versed in legalese and read through forty pages of it in order to make sure that, upon agreeing to receive a particular product or service, they're not INADVERTENTLY agreeing to be incessantly hounded about other, often completely unrelated products or services. I'm subscribed to Wired magazine - that is to say, I only ever agreed to subscribe to that particular magazine - yet their distributor felt it necessary to also mail me sexually explicit advertising for male enhancement pills.

This is just another example of victim-blaming. Regulators are pussies who won't stand up to these companies and say "If you have nothing to hide, spell it out for your (potential) consumers in a plain, concise format that doesn't allow you to bury a bunch of unscrupulous conditions to ensnare every person that doesn't have two extra hours to pick apart your jargon" - therefore it's OBVIOUSLY the consumer's fault for not keeping up to speed with business scam artistry. It's OBVIOUSLY wrong of them to expect some level of straightforward human decency in everyday exchanges.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37706228)

Regulators are pussies because corporate america has our politicians by the balls.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 3 years ago | (#37706046)

You did opt-in. Did you not read the TOS? It's your own fault for not reading it fully.

wut?

Facebook Terms of Use

... ikpoo foobus dorsat frobnym yinfun grostnit and all your base are belong to us, hitherto shall be volpim lepsum kruften veeblefetzer potrzebie ...

Well, dang!

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706276)

I don't know if those are the real terms, but I am pretty sure many TOSes come very close to this one in terms of clarity.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (2)

game kid (805301) | about 3 years ago | (#37707202)

I like that Facebook lets you create a frobnym for your own grostnit or yinfun (even if you're just a dorsat), but forcing you to put their kruften in your veeblefetzer is just cruel.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37706208)

The dumb part was actually reading the "we reserve the right to change our terms at any time" and NOT expecting Facebook to sneak in undeclinable leaks in your privacy.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705684)

Don the tinfoil hat! Durrr hurr!

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705696)

The fact is, you don't have the stomach to tell those companies to f*** off. Instead, you enjoy their services and complain about the state of things.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37706250)

Voting with your wallet and whatnot by agreeing not to do business with them is all well and good...Until someone ELSE refuses to do business with YOU if you don't.

Example: Drop facebook, become harder to hire by bosses who are happy to pick easily snoopable sheeple over you.

When being smart is a disadvantage and you're competing with an army of morons, it's not easy to win.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 years ago | (#37706410)

Voting with your wallet and whatnot by agreeing not to do business with them is all well and good...

I agree.

...Until someone ELSE refuses to do business with YOU if you don't.

Wait.. what?

Are you suggesting that its OK for you to pick and choose who you do business with, but its not OK for those that you might do business with to be afforded the very same consideration and choose not to do business with you?

..and to think, I agreed with a fucking hypocrite.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705712)

We need a privacy bill of rights. Opt-in, full disclosure, and deterrent-level fines and fees for breaking the rules.

I think we could handle this with two simple laws:

1. Transfer of personal information requires that person be notified. (Except where the person is transferring their own information.)
2. Upon request, companies are mandated to provide the source of (i.e.: from whom they obtained) someone's personal information.

Allow people to sue companies for violations. Make the penalty equal to the current federal poverty line, per infraction, with the standard of strict liability.

This will end abuse of personal data overnight and make a lot of lawyers very happy.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705780)

Lawyers might be very interested to know about your idea, if anyone can get the law on their side its lawyers.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37705722)

No kidding. Anymore, money is made from your disclosure and release of personal information.

You'd think paying for something is a good solution, as well, but it's not... most of the time. When you sign up for accounts, that information is sold to help keep the cost low.

The only things that are truly secure online are things that most people can't afford.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (2)

Teun (17872) | about 3 years ago | (#37705730)

To an extend Europe already has such a privacy bill of rights .

EU nations have their individual ways of incorporating it in law but like in this Austrian case I'm quite sure it sure gives you full rights to your own data.

Yes I know it's quite shocking there are valid laws not passed by the USofA congress.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705784)

The US doesn't care about privacy, other than HIPA (that's medical) requirements. The rest of the world doesn't share the same shitty attitude of whoever collects data owns it, and then shares with their "partners". FB will come unstuck in Europe if they enter a pissing contest with their USA "couldn't give a shit" vs EU data protection acts.

I worked on a pan Europe project for a global company (based in the US), one of the countries chose to ignore the law regarding data protection, or fucked up, rather than getting a slapped wrist and token fine, the project was forced to shut down for 18 months for that country. Ford (ooops) changed their attitude very quickly after that.

I don't know how many active FB accounts are from within the EU, I bet it's not exactly a small percentage. Are they going to risk all those accounts being canned from EU lawyers? Here's hoping! The women can get back on with their lives instead of obsessing over what their school friends really look like today, and shit like farmville and mafia fucking wars.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (2)

cparker15 (779546) | about 3 years ago | (#37705924)

Hmm. Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 3 years ago | (#37706288)

Be careful, he might sell your email address to Viagra and 419 scammers.

=P

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (1)

Otis B. Dilroy III (2110816) | about 3 years ago | (#37706494)

This can be largely avoided.

I used to buy a new performance car every two years. This system ate me up. Around 2002 after I had just bought a new home and a new SVT Cobra in 2001 I would get a dozen credit card solicitations in the mail each day. The record was 27 in one day.

Then I:

Only finance cars through my credit union.
Called the 800 number to stop credit card solicitations.
Paid the phone company 5 bucks a month for callerid so that I can block calls yhat won't show the number. This doesn't stop spoofers but the volume is way down.
Got on the federal do-not-call list and actually filed complaints.
Only purchase magazine subscriptions from the publisher, not from the clearinghouse or any of the fools going door to door.
With a few exceptions such as Amazon, only purchase items on the internet from companies from which I have already purchased items via phone or in person.
Never give my phone number to any merchant, no matter how pissy they get (Sears can get pretty pissy)
Give locally. Last Christmas I put several hundred dollars worth of toys in the toys-for-tots at the local fire station. I had to get the firemen to bring out a new barrel. They were impressed. It felt far better than writing a check.
Homebuying is more problematical. There are really three players. Your realtor, the finance company, and the title company. I bought a house in 2008. My realtor is a friend. He doesn't sell my info because he doesn't want me to dump any junk mail in his swimming pool. I financed through the credit union. They never sell my name. That leaves the title company. The sold my name, but removing two the three cut the volume way down.

Re:I'm really sick of this trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706814)

We need a privacy bill of rights. Opt-in, full disclosure, and deterrent-level fines and fees for breaking the rules.

No. It's because we always needed an [fill in the blank] bill of rights that we are in this situation to begin with. We only have rights given to us by governments and corporations, and they don't give out any rights worth anything. We needed the original Bill of Rights to protect our inherent rights, but it's too late for that now.

Credit agencies (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705652)

Forget Facebook. You agree to terms of service with them. Of course no one ever reads those terms, but at least you're agreeing to a relationship with them. I don't get the credit agencies. I have no direct relationship with the credit agencies, but they collect all this data on me and it's MY responsibility to monitor and correct it if it's wrong. And if I want to check that data more than once a year, I have to pay them for MY OWN DATA.

Re:Credit agencies (1)

MrSmith0011000100110 (1344879) | about 3 years ago | (#37705822)

You saved me from making the same argument. So I'll add on a little bit. The Cloud...dun dun dun. Since the latest trend is storage in the cloud, think about how much of YOUR data will never EVER go away, no matter how hard you try. Facebook is just a small example of the amount of crap people are committing to be forever out of their grasp.

Re:Credit agencies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706064)

What about when people I know take photos of me and load them into Facebook, but I'm not a Facebook user? I never agreed to any terms...

Re:Credit agencies (1)

bberens (965711) | about 3 years ago | (#37706368)

If someone has uploaded something to facebook that you have a legitimate copyright for I'm fairly certain they'd take it down after you inform them of it.

Re:Credit agencies (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37706144)

That is true, however, there isn't a reasonable basis for suggesting that there's informed consent when the ToS are full of legalese requiring an attorney to decipher. Legally, it doesn't matter, but in terms of what a reasonable person thinks, it's absurd.

Ultimately, most politicians are either rich or attorneys, and the latter is usually also the former. It's astonishing to me how folks seem to think that paying an attorney $300 every time they come in contact with a EULA or ToS is reasonable.

Re:Credit agencies (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | about 3 years ago | (#37706348)

Ultimately, most politicians are either rich or attorneys, and the latter is usually also the former.

That's not exactly true. A slight majority of people who graduate law school never work as attorneys, and of those who can get work the average pay is $110,000/year. That's a fantastic wage, but it's hardly enough to qualify someone as "rich" in the sense that they're clueless to the demands of everyday life. A (barely) six-figure salary doesn't really place someone in the same social category as influence-peddling multi-millionares who think the world revolves around them.

Re:Credit agencies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706170)

> You agree to terms of service with them.

Surprising, to say the least.

In Brazil, since some time ago (two decades+, AFAIK), you got a legal figure called "habeas data" by which one citizen has the right to request and obtain any data about him/herself from any organization. This is a constituitional right.

I guess being Brazilian cannot be always bad -- at least in theory.

(personal view of mine, unrelated to any other person/organization)

Re:Credit agencies (4, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | about 3 years ago | (#37706180)

I read the conditions of my loan to the Corleone family. That does not make it right or legit.
That is what the law is for: if there are unreasonable things happening, the law should clear things up.

Unfortunately in many countries, the law tends to side with the companies and not the general population.

Re:Credit agencies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706226)

I have never had a relationship with Facebook, yet they are collecting data about me. The proof is in the myriad of invitations that I have kept over the years which often correctly guess which of their customers are my friends or relatives.

Private businesses have no right to collect data about me in the absence of a contract. Period.

Opera Unite! (2)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 3 years ago | (#37705668)

I have recently become an Opera enthusiast. What do people think of using Opera Unite as an alternative to Facebook? You hold all your own data that way.

Re:Opera Unite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705872)

The only problem was the system wasn't particularly quick, even with an adequate upstream and downstream.
At least, this was back when I tested the early versions.

Another huge problem is also the fact that you can go offline and suddenly you are gone.
This is good for many reasons, but it is also bad for many reasons, in particular communication.
So you'd still really need to have an external system for communication, such as e-mail.
A middle-ground could be having some interface to setup POP3 with an e-mail server to create an almost seamless system.

Other than that, the idea seems really nice. Just a shame that it probably won't really take off since Opera isn't too popular, and I doubt anyone else wants to copy the idea with their browser and system. (Google would be a good contender, but why would they do that? They live off information)
The extensions to JS are really, really nice for creating server interfaces and so on. That was the best part as a developer.
It wasn't some sort of obtuse method, no weird syntax, no alternative languages, it fit in very well.
I'd love to see it take off, but it probably won't.

There is also P2P social networks, isn't Diaspora done this way?
This gets around the problems of going offline.

Both methods don't really protect you either way though. People can still scrape your data very easily.
Only solution would be to only allow people you know in by giving them some login and password for a private section of your site.
But that brings problems too.

Re:Opera Unite! (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 years ago | (#37706004)

Another huge problem is also the fact that you can go offline and suddenly you are gone.

Why don't they use a web of trust then? Allow all my friends to host a copy of my information, as long as there's no total discontinuity from one time frame to the next you'd always be up to date (and really, have you ever logged into Facebook and found not a single friend online?). You could even encrypt the more sensitive data, where accepting someone's friend request sent them the decryption key. Might get a little unwieldy once the data archives get big enough, but if you did the big initial transfers in the background it seems like it could work.

Re:Opera Unite! (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 3 years ago | (#37706370)

Not a bad idea. Kind of ambitious though. Keep in mind that they just aren't as big as google. I agree that the big problem with Opera Unite! is that you have to leave your home computer on 24/7.

I never used it but (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37706398)

Isn't Unite a cloud service like Turbo?

Re:Opera Unite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706660)

I have recently become an Opera enthusiast.

I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully you'll snap out of it soon, and go back to using a real browser.

dupe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37705838)

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/10/12/226257/facebook-your-personal-data-is-a-trade-secret

That's so utterly mad (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 3 years ago | (#37705864)

I'd expect this being stated by one of the senior wizards at Unseen University.

Must be the Bursar then..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37706672)

He's blind to decimal points.

(Deary deary me - the captcha is "otters". Well, I suppose we must do unto otters.....)

Facebook is ridiculously expensive (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 3 years ago | (#37706012)

The fact that they charge you a ton of personal data in exchange for their minimal services - email, blog, games.

Most of those things are stuff you can get for free for a lot less information. Probably the worst thing about Facebook is that they aggregate everything together. The whole is more valuable than the parts, yet they don't give you more stuff for that.

I am not paranoid. I will give out my personal data freely - if I get something valuable in exchange for it. I do it all the time with banks and dating websites.

The Irish law that forces corporations to give you the data they have on you is a great idea. I wish America had the same law.

As for exceptions for trade secrets - are they really trade secrets? Did they intentionally mix trade secrets with the data?

Re:Facebook is ridiculously expensive (1)

bberens (965711) | about 3 years ago | (#37706396)

"charge you a ton of personal data" -- The aggregation of all that data has lots of value, but the value of any one individual's data on a site like Google/Facebook/Amazon is approximately zero.

In A Reasonable Country... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 3 years ago | (#37706080)

In a reasonable country, Facebook would be a criminal enterprise. At minimum, they have committed theft of your personal information and now claim that it is their to do with whatever this week's posted ToS says that they can.

Sensationalist Much? (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | about 3 years ago | (#37706108)

There's a big difference between "The law says you can't have it" and "The law says we're only required to give you this much, which we've already done, so tough nuts". Facebook is saying the later (and from the summary the OP apparently understands that), while the former is the title of this story.

The issue is important enough without blatant link-baiting in the form of titles that imply government restrictions on your access to your own information. Facebook is a marketing corporation masquerading as an open social and political forum, and their privacy policy is a disaster. Isn't that enough to pillory them? Do you have to willfully misquote their statements to imply claims of censorship and government interventions?

Facebook knows all (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | about 3 years ago | (#37706126)

Facebook knows everything there is to know about you.

It even knows where you put the keys you lost.

They won't tell you where your keys are- but they sure do know.

Re:Facebook knows all (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 3 years ago | (#37706302)

Facebook knows everything there is to know about you.

It even knows where you put the keys you lost.

They won't tell you where your keys are- but they sure do know.

I wonder if the source the data out to Santa Claus...

Re:Facebook knows all (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 3 years ago | (#37706668)

No, actually, they stumbled into the treasure trove of all that data when Santa signed up for Facebook.

Now he's not the only one who knows if you've been bad or good. Damn FB game apps leaking all kinds of information back to FB.

Lies, lies, lies ... (1)

hydrofix (1253498) | about 3 years ago | (#37706178)

At least in my county's (Finland) respective EU legislation there are no such provisions, that would give Facebook the right to hold my my personal data, even if it contains "trade secrets". In contrast, the law specifically notes that all my personal data must be provided to me irrespective of secrecy provisions or Non-Disclosure Agreements (only some law enforcement databases are an exemption from this– business databases definitely are not.)

If Facebook designed their database so, that it contains trade secrets embedded in my personal data, they failed to consider the law, and have caused upon themselves whatever jeopardy this could result in.

Re:Lies, lies, lies ... (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 years ago | (#37706942)

The law in the EU, Canada, UK, Australia, US, etc. is quite clear about what constitutes "personal data." It does not mean "everything we know about you."

Re:Lies, lies, lies ... (1)

burning_plastic (164918) | about 3 years ago | (#37707246)

The UK Data Protection Act can force them to delete any data they have on you even if they won't reveal exactly what it is (as long as they're not the government or someone you owe money to)...

Luckily they are not their own judges (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 3 years ago | (#37706374)

What the law says will be determined in court. A company telling the law is on their side is really not news.

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