HolidayBuyer's Guide

Facebook changes terms of service to control more user data

Facebook has changed its terms of service to ensure it can use more user data, including that which has already been deleted.

While most of the activities on Facebook count as spam or worse ("super poke," anyone?), it's likely that such friending and poking was intended to be private. Recently, however, Facebook changed its terms of service to ensure it has perpetual rights on personal content, including content deleted by its users, as The Consumerist reports:

You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings....

You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

Facebook has always retained the rights to profit from its users' content, but now it retains the right to use old content that its users may have deleted.

Google has had its own problems with user privacy, but this Facebook move calls into question the wisdom of clouds or, rather, storing one's data in others' Web services like Facebook. We need to come up with new licenses or new mandates for open data in the cloud. Facebook shouldn't own our data.


Follow me on Twitter at mjasay.

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