Facebook "Privacy Notice" Post Is Totally Useless

Don't Post This Hoax

Facebook Privacy Posting
Facebook Privacy Posting. Facebook.com

Can copying and pasting some text to your Facebook wall or status update protect your privacy and intellectual property rights? Don't fall for this hoax, it's not true.

Description: Viral post / Hoax
Circulating since: May 2012
Status: False (see details below)

Example #1: Facebook Privacy Notice Posting

As shared on Facebook, Sep. 2, 2014

Due to the fact that Facebook has chosen to involve software that will allow the theft of my personal information, I do declare the following: on this day, September 2 nd 2014, in response to the new Facebook guidelines and under 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, texts etc. published on my profile. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times.

Those reading this text can copy it and paste it on their Facebook wall. This will allow them to place themselves under the protection of copyright. By this release, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or to take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The actions mentioned above apply equally to employees, students, agents and/or other staff under the direction of Facebook.

The contents of my profile include private information. The violation of my privacy is punished by the law (UCC 1 1-308 - 308 1 -103 and the Rome Statute). Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are invited to post a notice of this kind, or if you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you have not published this statement at least once, you will tacitly allow the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile update.

Example #2: Facebook Privacy Posting

As shared on Facebook, June 11, 2013:

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

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. YOU HAVE TO COPY AND PASTE.

Analysis of the Facebook Privacy Posting Hoax

Variants of these texts have been circulating on Facebook since May 2012. There was a fresh wave of postings in June 2013 after news reports revealed the extent of the federal government's electronic snooping under the NSA's "PRISM" program, and another following the October 2013 announcement of an update of Facebook's own privacy policy.

The premise, apparently, is that simply copying and pasting a statement to the effect that one's profile and posted materials are "private and legally privileged" is sufficient to protect them from monitoring, infringement, and/or unauthorized use by Facebook or anyone else. But that's not the case. The posts have no legal standing.

Your Contract with Facebook

The privacy and conditions of use of the information you share on and/or with Facebook are governed by the Terms of Service and Data Use Policy you automatically agree to by using Facebook, as well as by the Privacy Settings you choose when configuring your account. No amount of legalese added to your wall supersedes those terms and settings.

For example, the Terms of Service state that you, as a Facebook member, "own all of the content and information you post on Facebook," but also that 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)." Also, "When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture)."

Therefore, if you've published content on Facebook using the Public setting it does you no good at all to post a notice saying "you DO NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein," etc., because you've already tacitly granted that permission to any and all who might view it.

Sources and further reading:

Facebook Privacy Notice Debunked
Slate.com, 5 June 2012

[Hoax Alert ] Privacy Notice and Warning to Institutions, Agents & Agencies
FaceCrooks.com, 4 June 2012

Facebook Privacy Notice Chain Letter Is a Hoax
Sophos Naked Security, 5 June 2012

Don't Fall for Fake 'Privacy' Notice on Facebook
USA Today, 6 June 2012