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Facebook changes content rights

February 16th, 2009

fbFacebook, the social network of social networks, recently changed it’s data retention policies by changing it’s terms of service. They basically have modified the data retention policy for deleted accounts.

I love Facebook.  It’s a great way for me to keep in touch with friends and for me to let them know what I’m up to and vice versa. In fact, it’s let me get in touch with friends from Elementary and High School which I haven’t even thought of for decades. However, their privacy policy has left much to be desired. I am not a privacy nut. I have a blog, twitter account, personal web pages, use Google and Amazon (another topic all together). However, the type of data that Facebook is collecting is a bit scary, even for me.

I understand the implications for marketing and I’m somewhat OK with that. The frightening part for me is that the data does not expire. I don’t plan to run for office nor do I plan to get sued, but just think of what that data says about you and if it could be used against you, maybe by an opposing attorney who subpoenaed the data.

Some speculate that the changes in their privacy policy are due to the decline of ad revenue. A friend of mine blogged recently about the changes in the type of advertising on Facebook. It has gotten racier and he was concerned as his children have Facebook accounts. He also speculates that is also a symptom of the same. That Facebook is looking to sell information to make up for the declining revenue from it’s advertisements.

Added after the original post:

Amanda French posted an excellent blog entry on the Facebook Terms of Service and compaired it to other social networks. A must read for those that are interested in the topic.

Oh and the groundswell has caused Zuckerberg to post another entry in his blog. Very reminicent of the blog post about the beacon diseaster.

Updated 2 days after post:

Facebook seems to have done an about face (again). I credit Amanda French and really like the explaination by Alexander van Elsa on the Facebook Business Case.

Social Networking has come a long way. The first I read about the ToS was on twitter and I just kept coming across it including a link to a federal complaint.

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