If, like me, you have been seeing friends recently post a long-winded statement on their Facebook page about their right to privacy, don’t jump on the bandwagon.
It’s a hoax.
The statement, which claims by posting it to your page will protect you from Facebook stealing your personal information, has no truth behind it and is one of the many fake legal notices that has circulated the social media network in recent years.
In fact, the problem the post is addressing does not actually exist: Facebook isn’t claiming copyright to the personal information, photographs, and other material that their users are posting to the social network.
Snopes.com, a myth-busting website, says “In any case, Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their accounts, nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook, simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls.”
According to the company’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities page, publicly available to any user, Facebook clearly outlines its relationship with users and their personal information – none of which is owns.
Your privacy is very important to us. We designed our Data Use Policy to make important disclosures about how you can use Facebook to share with others and how we collect and can use your content and information,” the site reads.
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.
Unless we make a change for legal or administrative reasons, or to correct an inaccurate statement, we will provide you with seven days notice (for example, by posting the change on the Facebook Site Governance Page) and an opportunity to comment on changes to this Statement.
If we make changes to policies referenced in or incorporated by this Statement, we may provide notice on the Site Governance Page.
Your continued use of Facebook following changes to our terms constitutes your acceptance of our amended terms.
A similar hoax blew up on the site back in 2012 after people freaked out that Facebook was reading their messages and liking pages on their behalf. This also was false – here’s why.
It’s suspected that this recent panic is related to Facebook’s new tool called Privacy Basics launched on January 1.
Basics, which will show users who can see what they share, was explained by Facebook’s Global Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan in an email to users, which explained:
“Over the past year, we’ve introduced new features and controls to help you get more out of Facebook, and listened to people who have asked us to better explain how we get and use information.
“We hope these updates improve your experience. Protecting people’s information and providing meaningful privacy controls are at the core of everything we do, and we believe today’s announcement is an important step.” Read more about Privacy Basics here.
Here’s the post people are sharing now:
Due to the fact that Facebook has chosen to involve software that will allow the theft of my personal information, I state: at this date of January 4, 2015, in response to the new guidelines of Facebook, pursuant to articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data drawings, paintings, photos, video, texts etc. published on my profile and my page. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times.
Those who read this text can do a copy/paste on their Facebook wall. This will allow them to place themselves under the protection of copyright. By this statement, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and or its content. The actions mentioned above also apply to employees, students, agents and or other personnel under the direction of Facebook.
The content of my profile contains private information. The violation of my privacy is punishable by law (UCC 1-308 1-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).
Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are invited to publish a notice of this kind, or if they prefer, you can copy and paste this version.
If you have not published this statement at least once, you tacitly allow the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in the profile update.
For more information on this Facebook hoax, and others, visit Snopes.com