I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, photos, script blurbs, music content, videos, et al. as a result of the Berne Convention. For commercial use of the above, my written consent is needed.
This will place my work and personal information under protection of copyright laws. By the present missive, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).”
Over the past few days, you may have seen one of your friends post this or something like it. Does a notice like this actually matter? How much of your information does Facebook actually own, and what can they do with it? Let’s take a look.
This past weekend, many of you received an email from Facebook. Entitled “Updates to Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” it read:
We recently announced some proposed updates to our Data Use Policy, which explains how we collect and use data when people use Facebook, and our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), which explains the terms governing use of our services.
The updates provide you with more detailed information about our practices and reflect changes to our products, including:
- New tools for managing your Facebook Messages;
- Changes to how we refer to certain products;
- Tips on managing your timeline; and
- Reminders about what’s visible to other people on Facebook.
The email, instead of specifically outlining the changes, gives you a brief overview and then directs you to the “Documents” tab of their governance page. That “Documents” tab gives another vague overview, and directs you to another “Updates” page, which contains the good stuff – “Redline” pages about their proposed changes to the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and their Data Use Policy. These “Redline” pages show exactly which statements they are changing, and how they now will read.
Here’s a few interesting, already-existing lines that you should probably be aware of:
While you are allowing us to use the information we receive about you, you always own all of your information. Your trust is important to us, which is why we don’t share information we receive about you with others unless we have:
received your permission;
given you notice, such as by telling you about it in this policy; or
removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it
The arguably most important change that Facebook is making appears under the “Affiliates” section of the Data Use Policy. The text is as follows:
We may share information we receive with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies that Facebook is part of, or that become part of that group (often these companies are called affiliates). Likewise, our affiliates may share information with us as well. We and our affiliates may use shared information to help provide, understand, and improve our services and their own services.
In the short term, this means that companies like Instagram, which Facebook recently purchased, will have access to your information. In fact, you may start seeing advertising on Instagram that is specific to your Facebook likes and posts. This change goes one step further, however, when looked at along with the “Instant Personalization” section.
[It is] a way for Facebook to help partners (such as Bing and Rotten Tomatoes) on and off Facebook create a more personalized and social experience for logged in users than a social plugin can offer. When you visit a site or app using instant personalization, it will know some information about you and your friends the moment you arrive. This is because sites and apps using instant personalization can access your User ID, your friend list, and your public information.
Apparently, you will receive a notification the first time you visit a site that is using your information, and you will be asked if you want to turn Instant Personalization off. However, if you don’t say no the first time, that company is not required to delete your information unless you ask them to. Furthermore, your Instant Personalization setting is set to “On” by default – you have to turn it off in your settings if you don’t want third party websites collecting your information.
Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer confirmed the policy, stating on Forbes.com:
“Everything you do and say on Facebook can be used to serve you ads. Our policy says that we can advertise services to you off of Facebook based on data we have on Facebook.”
- Know when you’re logged into Facebook
- Show which of your friends are online
- Know when you saw a company’s ad on the web and later visited their page
- Show ads around the web after you visited a company’s page
Here are some more interesting policies, FYI:
When you delete an account, it is permanently deleted from Facebook. It typically takes about one month to delete an account, but some information may remain in backup copies and logs for up to 90 days. However, some of the things you do on Facebook aren’t stored in your account, like posting to a group or sending someone a message (where your friend may still have a message you sent, even after you delete your account). That information remains after you delete your account.
You can download a copy of your personal data by visiting your “Account Settings”, clicking on “Download a copy of your Facebook data” and then clicking on the link for your expanded archive.
We may access, preserve and share your information in response to a legal request (like a search warrant, court order or subpoena) if we have a good faith belief that the law requires us to do so.