There are many of us nowadays that use Facebook not only as a social tool, but also a tool to promote our businesses. And as you know, Facebook has recently updated its terms of service and data use policy. As a result of these updates, there has been an absolute uproar with customers’ concerns over content ownership and the prospect of privacy invasions. Should our fears be valid? The answer to me appears to be a resounding “NO”.
Experts in intellectual property law are telling us that only one of these latest updates is substantive, i.e., Facebook’s agreement NOT to unilaterally change its terms of service in the future without prior notification; all the other updates appear to be merely cosmetic in an attempt to reduce clutter.
For all of us who just checked “Agreed” to Facebook’s terms of service when we signed up and never took the time to read the terms themselves (which includes me), here are some of the most relevant:
- You own all of the content you post on Facebook.
- By posting on Facebook, you give Facebook permission to use any and all content free of charge.
- You can revoke Facebook’s permission to use content by deleting the content from Facebook or by deleting your account, unless the content has been shared by someone else.
- If you delete an individual photo, Facebook deletes that photo.
- When you share a photo other than an active profile photo (which can be seen by everyone on or off of Facebook), you can control who sees it, even if one of the Facebook “friends” shares it.
- If you comment on someone else’s post or photo, they control who sees it.
- You can control whether search engines off of Facebook, such as Google, can link to your profile.
- No matter what anyone tells or tries to sell you, you cannot see who has viewed your profile – Facebook is not LinkedIn.
Facebook seems to be safe (enough) for now. . . . . .