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Watch Out For Facebook’s Terms of Use

Watch Out For Facebook’s Terms of Use

Changes made to Facebook’s terms of use is finally generating some buzz. The “new’ terms of use has actually been in place since February 2009, and the real
issue at hand is not what was added, but what was removed. Facebook has always
had an “irrevocable, perpetual” license to use your “name, likeness, and image”
in essentially any way, including within promotions or external advertising as
long as your account was active. However, with minimal consent, Facebook has
omitted that clause, effectively giving them an eternal license to your private
information. Now, they can use your content forever, for any purpose, without
your permission.

Here are some other Facebook snafus:

Facebook & Personal Information
As their Privacy
policy says, “We may use information about you that we collect from other
sources, including but not limited to newspapers and Internet sources such as
blogs, instant messaging services, Facebook Platform developers and other users
of Facebook, to supplement your profile.”

In the past, Facebook has broadcast user’s private information in ways users
didn’t expect. For example, their privacy policy also says that they may use
your information “without identifying you as an individual,’ and that they “do
not provide contact information to third party marketers without your
permission.” Everything else is fair game. In addition, Facebook isn’t
responsible if a third-party application abuses your personal information.

Facebook & Liability
From the Facebook terms of use,
“Under no circumstances will the Company be responsible for any loss or damage,
including any loss or damage to any User Content or personal injury or death,
resulting from anyone’s use of the Site or the Service, any User Content or
Third Party Applications, Software or Content posted on or through the Site or
the Service or transmitted to Users, or any interactions between users of the
Site, whether online or offline.”

Under the terms of use, multiple disclaimers and limitations on liability
contain provisions preventing you from suing Facebook for just about anything.
This includes viruses and other malicious software that are trolling the

Facebook & Money
While the pursuit of revenue doesn’t
make Facebook evil, it is a business – not a charity. Don’t forget that money is
their primary motivator, not sharing or creating community.

In relation to the use of personal information, Facebook may sell any
information they compile to third-parties as long as they do not disclose
contact information and individual identity.

In relation to the use of individually published images, take for example,
you are an aspiring photographer who has published your own work on Facebook –
Facebook has the right to republish that material fo