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Facebook Privacy Policy – Your Posts “Opting Out” Don’t Matter

Every few months, someone crafts a post or reposts an idea and it takes off with viral contagion. Essentially, the Facebook poster posts that he or she is “reserving,” “protecting” or “claiming” rights to material (photos, posts, etc.) he or she published to Facebook.

One problem- it is legally insignificant.

Although Facebook isn’t actually claiming a specific copyright to your personal information, photographs, and other material that their users are posting to the social network, it does claim rights to use this material. It can’t sell your photos as art or use plagiarize your words in its own book, but its invasion is much deeper. Facebook certainly has rights to use, collect, store and even sell any information you provide (or provided by others about you) according to the license (aka contract) you entered into with Facebook. It is like the information on the back of your ticket you receive at a parking lot, dry cleaner, sporting event or the like. You may not have ever read it, but it is your contract and entirely enforceable.

A post “opting out” is therefore waste of time and meaningless. The terms you agreed to when you signed up for a Facebook account are non-negotiable on your end and you basically signed your digital life away. Facebook is watching what you do and stockpiling information about you. It is simply unavoidable unless you leave. Even then, some of the harm has already been done.

If you want to know what Facebook can and cannot do, take an hour and read the Terms (a.k.a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities) and the Data Use Policy.

Too lazy, but still want to be freaked out? You agreed to basically allow facebook to analyze the visible data of that which you post, but also analyze the hidden metadata of items you upload, such as the time, date, and place you took the photo or video- things you don’t even know are there. It also collects information about the date and time you visit many websites, including the web address, technical information about the IP address, browser and the operating system you use; and more. Facebook also knows your GPS coordinates at pretty much any given moment. All user submitted content, even that which you don’t know you are submitting such as meta-data and cookies, is shared with the government and other businesses. It is the sacrifice for it being a free site enjoyed by 100s of millions.

And it is not just you. Your friends can tag you and your face. With a couple photos tagged, Facebook’s facial recognition feature can pick you out of crowds. That information often remains on a computer even if you delete your account. You allowed this by having an account. More about facial recognition is located HERE.

The only way to remedy that is to terminate your license and get off Facebook forever. So, there you go. This post is SNOPES tested and approved.