Facebook issues proposed changes to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

facebook-48  iconFacebook are set to update their Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. The proposed changes come as the result of a settlement in a court case concerning its use of personal data in advertising.

Both documents have new language to help you better understand:

  • How advertising works on Facebook
  • What to expect when it comes to using your name, profile picture, content and personal info with ads or commercial content
  • How to control or remove apps you’ve used
  • What data you’re sharing with mobile devices
  • Like always, we won’t share the private information that you put on Facebook with advertisers without your permission.

As usual there will probably be a lot of outcry claiming ‘Facebook can’t use my personal information’. Please don’t share them.

Facebook is a business, and provided it sticks to the terms of service it publishes, it can use your information in the manner in which it sets out. Until, that is, it is required to change its terms of service by a court – which in this case is more of a matter of Facebook clarifying how it uses your data to avoid further court action. That’s it, Period.

People can complain as much as they like. If you use the service, you agree to the terms and conditions associated with doing so. Posting messages saying you don’t agree, doesn’t change a thing. If you or your customers are not comfortable with that, I’d recommend that you get a private blog to share your news and pictures – though not a lot of people are going to see it.

And just to be very clear this is what Facebook says about their use of your personal data (my emphasis).

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
  2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).

You can read more about the changes in great detail here. And, if you want, you can read a marked up copy of the proposed  Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (pdf document).


What do you think?