Facebook being governed in an open way

Posted in General, Technology on February 27th, 2009 by Demitri Baroutsos

Earlier this month there was much furor over Facebook’s revised terms of service which they subsequently reverted back to the original and also opened up communicatin amongst their users to get feedback w.r.t the terms of service. Very positive turnaround, and a nice idea, but like someone said, it’s tough enough keeping order in a meeting with a dozen people but is it practical and possible to do so with millions in the meeting room?

With this in mind, Facebook have now opted to publish two documents, Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilites, which will replace the current terms of service. You can read both documents in their respective groups by following each link.

We’re honored that so many millions of people around the world have decided to bring Facebook into their lives to share information and experiences with friends and loved ones. We understand that gives us an important responsibility to our users.

History tells us that systems are most fairly governed when there is an open and transparent dialogue between the people who make decisions and those who are affected by them. We believe history will one day show that this principle holds true for companies as well, and we’re looking to moving in this direction with you. – read more on the Facebook blog.


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Facebook owns you, well your data

Posted in General, Technology on February 17th, 2009 by Demitri Baroutsos

facebook-logoThere’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”

Over the past few days, we have received a lot of 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. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog.

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.


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