Facebook and Your Privacy: A Match Not Made in Digital Culture Heaven

From: weheartit.com

Facebook has been in the news a lot lately, but not necessarily for the right reasons.

Earlier in May 2011, it emerged that it had hired a very well-known PR agency to plant stories against Google relating to user privacy.

Considering Facebook’s own issues with privacy, this gives the impression that the company is trying to make itself look better by making its competitors look good as opposed to getting its act together.

From: weheartit.com
Another issue that is being hotly debated is the fact that Facebook changed its terms and conditions so that every user who uploads a photo on the social networking site is automatically granting it the right to sell it to companies, employers and other buyers.

The terms read:

“BY posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.

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.”

The worse part of it is, that even after you remove pictures from your page and/or close your Facebook account, they are still allowed to keep your pictures.

Picture sharing on the internet is huge, with over a trillion images online, and Facebook is now the largest photo-sharing site on the Web.

So it might be worth watching what you upload a little more carefully in future.

This is all part of the larger battle for internet dominance.

Facebook, with its sprawling database of faithful users, is the company best positioned to threaten Google in future, but it is yet to find an effective business model.

Arguably, it also has a less positive and benign public image than the search giant, and these latest PR disasters won’t really help matters.

From: weheartit.com
*All Pictures from weheartit.com


Alice Bonasio is a Brazilian/American/Italian writer specializing in Digital Cultures. She has been published in Gamestm, Edge, The Escapist and 360. She is currently finishing an MA in Creative and Media Enterprises at the University of Warwick. She lives in England and is a PR Executive for one of the UK’s hottest tech start-ups, The Filter. Contact her on LinkedIN and follow her on Twitter.

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  1. interesting… very interesting. Have you also noticed that now Facebook allows people whom are NOT your friends to comment on statuses and photos, too. I feel as if I missed something, but that should not be allowed even if your profile is on public

    I'm undecided whether to even care about the photo sharing thought, but really…. it is very misleading if you ask me and that is unfair.