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Stop spreading those stupid Facebook privacy notices
One of the problems with Facebook is that people inevitably spread messages that look like worthy issues to speak out on but are really just bits of drivel that have little to nothing in common with reality. A "privacy notice" making the rounds is a perfect example.
"Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly a......llowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.
To those of you who have spread this around, I don't mean to make you look bad. But the fact is that this thing is a hoax. When I first read this it didn't look right. Fortunately, the smarter among us are starting to expose it for what it is.
In a Facebook message, MAD Security managing partner Mike Murray wrote:
"This whole "privacy notice" meme on Facebook is annoying me. Because it is wrong and stupid. Facebook's interaction with your data is governed by the terms of service of the site. Nothing you say on your profile supercedes that. If you want to keep Facebook from having your data or using it as the TOS specifies, you have one option: don't use Facebook."
Mike nails the point. So does Chester Wisniewski in Sophos' Naked Security blog. He writes:
Unfortunately taking control of your online identity is not as simple as making a declaration on your Facebook wall. Using any website to store content or personal details requires compliance with the site's Terms of Service. "These messages are simply another chain letter type hoax pinned upon wishful thinking. If you are uncomfortable with Facebook monetizing your content or making your content available to the US government you either need to avoid posting the content to Facebook, or more carefully control your privacy settings and hope the authorities don't seek a court order for your information."
It still amazes me how people get all uppity about their privacy when they're busy posting every scrap of detail they can about themselves on their timelines: birth dates, geographical locations, pictures that leave little to the imagination. Not only that, they're posting this stuff free of charge.
The latter point reminds me of another stupid chain letter from a few months back warning that Facebook was preparing to start charging people to keep their profiles on the site.
A lot of friends fell for that one, and some of the same people are falling for this.
Social networking is melting our brains. Maybe we need to walk away more often.
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