If you've been on Facebook this week, you may have seen a status update , so-called “Facebook Privacy Notice”which claims you need to repost it to protect your privacy. The notice went viral on the network Tuesday but is, in fact, a fake.
In fact, you're much better off just ignoring this latter-day chain letter (see the full thing below).
The posting is based on the idea that Facebook’s recent listing as a publicly traded company will negatively affect its users’ privacy. This is an untrue assumption.
As Facebook says in a recent post on its "Facebook and Privacy" account page:
We have noticed a recent status update that is being widely shared implying the ownership of your Facebook content has recently changed. This is not true and has never been the case. Facebook does not own your data and content.
Both Facebook and its users are still bound to the same terms and conditions that are accepted by users when they sign up for the service. If Facebook ever significantly changed its privacy settings, it would have to notify users about the changes to those terms.
The text of the false post is below.
For those of you who do not understand the reasoning behind this posting, 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 allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.
PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning – any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other “picture” art posted on my profile.
You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control.
The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE
It says: Facebook members own the intellectual property (IP) that is uploaded to the social network, but depending on their privacy and applications settings, users grant the social network "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)."
Facebook adds, "[t]his 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."
The social network does not technically own its members content but it has the right to use anything that is not protected with Facebook's privacy and applications settings. For instance, photos, videos and status updates set to public can be used by the Social networking site.