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Does Facebook Own You ... and Your Kids?

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Do you post family pics on your Facebook page? You might want to rethink after you read this.

Photos, facebook copyright

Attention, moms!

Facebook has changed their Terms of Service, and it now OWNS what was once your personal property.

Check this out. In their Terms of Service -- which you agree to when you sign up for an account -- they say "Facebook members now release full control of their social networking content to the company including the right to copy, modify, distribute, use images and descriptions for commercial use or advertising."

In a nutshell, this means that if you've uploaded images of yourself and/or your kids, Facebook may decide to use them in any way they choose: including putting them in one of their advertising campaigns without compensating you or maybe even letting you know about its use.

Approximately 20,000 protest groups have formed on the site -- all strongly opposed to the new terms. One outraged member had this to say: "If I decide to close my account and have all associated data deleted, that should be my choice. If I want to yank a blog post, I have that ability. Why should Facebook be any different?"

Prior to these changes, FB said it only had rights to use content while the user was a member of the service. Now, FB will hold those rights even if a user cancels their membership.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg posted a blog entry in an attempt to explain the new terms saying: "We wouldn't share your information in a way you wouldn't want," he said. "The change was designed to reassure users that account deactivation would not mean that data they had shared with friends would be wiped from the site."

This is supposed to reassure users? It seems like it would be more of a concern to have lingering peronal property floating around the web. If you decide to close your account, shouldn't your information be yours and not theirs?

BTW: Did you know Facebook can also share your information with lawyers, companies and government agencies?

Will you remain a member?

next: The Best Part of Being a Parent
15 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous February 17, 2009, 3:42 PM

So now what? Even if I erase my pics they have them stored?

Kelsey February 17, 2009, 4:32 PM

You use Facebook for free.

I really doubt they are going to use your pictures for something you don’t want.

If you question it, don’t put your photos on.. it’s that simple.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s comment makes sense to me. If you are looking to be reassured, you probably should just not put stuff on Facebook you don’t want others to see.

I think alot of people are thankful to Facebook for allowing them the opportunity to reconnect with friends and such. People will always abuse privileges but it won’t make me delete my account. It’s the internet. Use common sense when “sharing”. I just hope Facebook doesn’t decide to charge us for use someday. I really like the “free” part.

Wendi  February 17, 2009, 5:35 PM

who cares

nome February 17, 2009, 5:49 PM

this would only matter if you are putting pics of yourself up there that you shouldn’t anyway, i have but maybe 2 pics of my kids, that are not recent i should state, so they look different now—-and also if you are someone famous who does not want your image being used without your say so and compensation. i’m not a celebrity yet, so i’m not cancelling mine!

Crystal February 17, 2009, 6:12 PM

That’s such crap. And quite frankly, should be illegal. Their explanation makes no sense. If I deactivate my account I do so with the understanding (and most likely the intention) that my account information will likewise be deactivated, not in use, kaput. Isn’t that the definition? Correct me if I’m wrong.

I don’t know anyone who’s self-loathing enough to deactivate their account with the sole purpose of allowing other people to use their information while they themselves don’t have access to it. C’mon. It’s like something out of a Monty Python sketch.

Scatteredmom February 17, 2009, 7:40 PM

Yanking my account TODAY.

I don’t want Facebook using my writing or pics for any reason, without compensation. I also find it creepy that they can use anything in my account how they wish, beyond my control.

No THANKS. I’ll stick to blogging.

Kirstie February 17, 2009, 10:04 PM

They have ALWAYS had your information stored, fyi. It’s always been a feature that when you deactivate your account, it is kept saved and able to be reactivated. It was NEVER deleted in the past, nor will it be now. The only change is that they’re reserving the right to use your information (which, once posted, is public domain) even if you are not currently an active user of the site, whereas in the past if you were inactive they did not have that right spelled out in black and white.

Marley February 17, 2009, 11:23 PM

No, because I don’t ever put up pictures of myself, even if I did I wouldn’t care as long as they didn’t use my name and give out personal information, which I also usually fake.

Anonymous February 18, 2009, 2:32 AM

Facebook posted this tonight….

Over the past few days, we have received a lot of good feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised.

Starfish February 18, 2009, 5:44 AM

I think that Facebook should have given members a chance to opt out and delete content before they changed the rules without notice.
Yes it bothers me and thank goodness I never did put info on the account other than one pic of me, none of my kids.
I will be deleting my Facebook Account I am pissed!

kgil February 18, 2009, 7:19 AM

I think this is ridiculous because you are under a belief that when you delete or remove information from your account that it is gone forever. Facebook it seems has decided stealing is ok. Just like when credit card companies give you an opt out if they are going to change your rates when your rates were not suppose to go up facebook can’t illegally change their terms without letting you have the same option. Because of that i’d slap them with a lawsuit in a heartbeat if i found out they had exploited my child’s image without my conscent. It’s no different than child exploitation! Just so it in print facebook is not allowed to use my images or videos that i may post.

Tamara February 18, 2009, 12:24 PM

As a free site, they can set their terms but when it comes to using our photos, they should have to follow the same privacy rules every newspaper and publication follows - getting consent first.

I don’t care too much about my pic out there, but sure wouldn’t want to see it under a “Singles” Advertisement and am quite happily married!

Mostly though, I do not want any of my children’s pic out there. This is why they are in “private” albums on facebook - I only want family to see them.

Faceboook should have to gain consent before using pic and should be liable if using them without consent and if they cause harm. (Eg. putting my pic in a Singles ad would quite likely cause some issues between myself and my hubby!)

They should make sure there is no identifying info on the pic, eg. my kids pic should not have any info on it so pedophiles can not put a name to the faces. Failure for Facebook to comply should result in liability.

But as users we all have to be aware of the terms & conditions. If a company changes those terms & conditions then users should have a right to cancel immediately if they don’t agree to the new terms. It is a free service though and let’s be honest - nothing is free!

lawrence February 19, 2009, 6:47 AM

I learned this news in another place. A hot debate heats up at “””“. Let us check what pinions other celebrities and wealthy guys’ opinions are about this story.

Bubbles February 23, 2009, 6:22 AM

facebook is becoming more stupid, in fact, my friends deleted their accounts, lets join the move and put facebook down!

Jxyxurmd June 30, 2009, 7:50 PM

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