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Why Is The Facebook Privacy Notice Worthless? — ‘The Why’

Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why is the Facebook privacy notice worthless?” Good question. (OK, it’s a little “current events” but it beats answering inquiries about odd intimate acts. Seriously? We thought “Snoodling” was just some new thing folks did on Facebook, mmmkay?)


Image: Quickmeme

If you’re on Facebook then you must have seen the “privacy notice” everyone is copying and posting. If you don’t have any friends or like this columnist’s parents you have no time for Facebook because you have a life, here is the post:

“Now it’s official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: $5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to “private”. If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste

Channel 13 News was just talking about this change in Facebook’s privacy policy. Better safe than sorry. As of September 26th , 2015 at 01:16 a.m. Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and paste”.


Image: TOO

So why is this Facebook privacy notice worthless? It’s a fake. It’s also not legally binding.

Don’t believe a guy in a silly hat? Fair enough. Our friend and guest speaker the lovely Jessica Roy, contributor to Los Angeles Times online, confirms all this.

Roy confirms that “this status is worthless.” She adds: “This is an old hoax. Snopes debunked this . . . in January; it doesn’t (even) appear to be related to any pertinent change to Facebook’s privacy policy.” She agrees that no one in the media reported on this other than to expose it as a fake.

The writer of the notice is obviously not a lawyer and again it is not legally binding. Roy reports that “the Rome Statute” mentioned isn’t even applicable here.

She says: “The Rome Statute applies to international criminal court proceedings, not whether Facebook is using your selfies in ads.” (Really? You mean that girl who took the selfie of herself with a feces-filled, unflushed toilet won’t be having that picture used in any professional Facebook ads!? You gotta be kidding!)


Image: Mashable

Roy also confirms that, legally-speaking, a “copy-and-paste” status means nothing. “

By creating your Facebook account, you agree to Facebook’s terms and conditions. Your Facebook posts and comments are not an extension of your right to free speech. In other words, the content of your profile is NOT “private and confidential information.” You chose to publish it to Facebook. Any privacy terms were already negotiated and de facto agreed upon when you clicked ‘Sign Up’. ”

They’re not gonna charge you a fee either. That’s not how they work. Roy agrees: “Facebook’s revenue model isn’t subscription-based.”

Facebook just wants to use your personal data. You already gave it to them, too. Roy concludes:

“Facebook wants to know your age, gender, religion, marital status, hometown, level of education and general interests so that it can better target advertisements to you. You have almost certainly already given it this information. For free. Those ads are how it makes money — not by charging you to access the site.”

Why is the Facebook privacy notice worthless? Now you know.

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About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.