Check through your Facebook newsfeed and you may see some of your friends posting what appears to be a “privacy notice” to their timeline, complete with rambling legal terms. The notice is going viral on the social networking site, with some users under the assumption that they are no longer bound by the rules of Facebook’s “Data Use Policy” since Facebook went public last month.
The hard truth is, you signed up for the terms and conditions when you joined Facebook and nothing is going to get you out of it. You could delete your profile or change your privacy settings, but information about you will still be floating around on the Internet no matter how much you protest. (continue reading below)
The fact that Facebook went public last month does not change the fine print that you clicked “yes” to. However, poosting this legal jargon may make your friends think you went to law school. At least until they find out that everyone is posting the same thing. If you haven’t seen the “privacy notice”that everyone is self-righteously posting on their timeline, here’s a partial sample:
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 … 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 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
Seriously folks, posting this legal notice is similar to posting a $40 Starbucks card scam to your timeline. While the “privacy notice” post won’t give your friends a computer virus if they click on it, it will make you look a bit uninformed.
If those who are posting the legal notice actually read the Uniform Commercial Codes (UCC 1-103 1-308) listed at the end of the post, they would will find that it has nothing to do with privacy rules or social media.
- 1-103: Unless displaced by the particular provisions of this Act, the principles of law and equity, including the law merchant and the law relative to capacity to contract, principal and agent, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, Bankruptcy, or other validating or invalidating cause shall supplement its provisions.
- UCC 1-308: (a) A party that with explicit reservation of rights performs or promises performance or assents to performance in a manner demanded or offered by the other party does not thereby prejudice the rights reserved. Such words as “without prejudice,” “under protest,” or the like are sufficient. (b) Subsection (a) does not apply to an accord and satisfaction.
The bottom line: You decided to become social and share tidbits of your life, so just post fewer pictures of the inside of your home, your bizarre social life, or status updates that tell the world how little work you do while sitting in your cubicle trolling Facebook.
If you truly want to keep up with the Facebook changes and policies, it’s best to go right to the source: Facebook. In fact, the social networking giant is inviting users to vote on proposed revisions to its “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” (SRR) and “Data Use Policy.” Read more about this, and vote for changes related to governing the site here: Facebook Governance.