Zuckerberg: On Facebook, People Own and Control Their Information

Posted Feb 16, 2009

I knew there was something fishy about the Consumerist article that claimed Facebook had the rights to use your content for any reason even if you deactivate your account.  Gawker’s network built itself on stirring up controversy.  In this case, Consumerist took advantage of people fearing that Facebook is becoming too much of a “big brother” social network.  No need to freak out about your photos on Facebook as long as you can trust your friends.

“When a person shares information on Facebook, they first need to grant Facebook a license to use that information so that we can show it to the other people they’ve asked us to share it with. Without this license, we couldn’t help people share that information,”  stated Mark Zuckerberg on the Facebook blog. “One of the questions about our new terms of use is whether Facebook can use this information forever. When a person shares something like a message with a friend, two copies of that information are created?one in the person’s sent messages box and the other in their friend’s inbox.  Even if the person deactivates their account, their friend still has a copy of that message. We think this is the right way for Facebook to work, and it is consistent with how other services like email work. One of the reasons we updated our terms was to make this more clear.”

Facebook Beacon on the other hand was a blatant violation of privacy.  Sometimes it is good to keep Facebook on their toes about their TOS. Well done in spotting the changes, Consumerist.