There’s a lot of uproar on the interwebs in this week around Facebook’s new terms of service. It’s been talked about here, here, here and here … and many more. Why? Well below is an excerpt of the updates TOS:
“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 or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof.”
and this was just added…
“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.”
So basically what it boils down to is the fact that Facebook can do what they want with your content you’ve uploaded to your profile. Well, unless you decide to deactivate your account, but then they still retain the right to keep archived copies of your data (most probably for data mining purposes).
What people don’t get is, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and in the same light, no such thing as a completely free service. You’re not paying Facebook to use their service so they need to get something out of it (yeah they make a tonn out of advertising too, but they’re still not making a profit, yet).
If you’re the type to do things that could be used to incriminate yourself, then you shouldn’t be using or even near the Internet, in fact a computer or any electronic device – then again, if you are and you’re reading this – FAIL!
Update 18 February 2009: Facebook seems to have retracted it’s TOS and reverted to the previous version until they’ve “solved the problem”
If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.
Read more on TechCrunch.