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February 19, 2009

iReporters weigh in on Facebook flap

Posted: 05:46 PM ET

Chances are that most of you have never read the terms of service agreement on any Web site you visit. You probably haven’t even noticed all the junk that sits in tiny print at the bottom of most sites.

iReporter Katy Brown

So why did Facebook’s slight change in their Terms of Service policy cause such an uproar? Well, partly because those of us with a Facebook account tend to check and re-check our pages constantly, obsessively even. We live on Facebook.

But as far as privacy goes, unless you’re planning on becoming a politician or other public figure in the near future, would it really matter if Facebook kept a permanent copy of your information after your account is deleted?

We asked our iReporters to weigh in on the issue:

iReporter Katy Brown has a simple solution. Don’t post something if you think you might regret it later.

But some argue that it’s trickier than that.

iReporter Chris Morrow posted some views expressed by the 'People Against the new Terms of Service (TOS) community” on Facebook. One person writes, "Let's say that 10 years down the road, I become famous. Let's also say that, despite Mark Zuckerberg's well-intentioned promise [not to use members' information], a large multinational corporation buys out Facebook. Per these new TOS, my likeness, photographs, etc., could then be used, for all eternity, to hock Sony products in any way they want."

Morrow's report raises a valid question, but how many of the 175 million active Facebook users will actually become famous?

That’s not the point, according to iReporter Katy Brown, who mentions the Patriot Act in her post. It’s about the right to privacy, not whether you’ll become famous or have your image used for profit later on down the road, she says.

Even though Facebook has since reverted to its original TOS agreement, the episode still has many of us thinking twice about how much we reveal about ourselves on the Web.

What about those artists and writers who rely on social-networking sites to get their work out there? Is there some sort of assurance for them that their work won’t get swiped?

Tell us what you think at

- Callie Carmichael,

Filed under: Internet • social-networking sites

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Franko   February 19th, 2009 7:56 pm ET

With everyone on Facebook, collection agencies will have it easier
Could make you unemployable forever, even your Avatar,, an RFID match

Not on Facebook ? What do you have to hide ? Detained till you comply

mdegge   February 19th, 2009 11:25 pm ET

Lol privacy on Facebook? If you sneeze everyone on your friend's list know about it. If your friend comments on said sneeze then everyone on their friends list knows about it. What privacy?

Jim   February 20th, 2009 12:39 pm ET

Facebook? Not in Duluth, either. Wherever you are, there you are. What's the shock?

Franko   February 20th, 2009 12:45 pm ET

"Wired quotes an anonymous Intel engineer as saying "The gains that it could give us for the proposed line of security features were not sufficient to overcome the bad rep it would give us.""

The Corporate spooks, do not thrive in bright daylight.
How far can the controllers go against the public ?
Every device identified, every exchange of information logged ?
Why do you complain ? we are saving you from the Faschism of the Taliban

Franky   February 22nd, 2009 1:11 am ET

"But as far as privacy goes, unless you’re planning on becoming a politician or other public figure in the near future, would it really matter if Facebook kept a permanent copy of your information after your account is deleted?"

Yes it does and in my personal opinion, it is wrong. You know, I read a couple of good articles on CNN Money that talked about Facebook and basically it's long term goals(if any). Not only that but why Facebook is big and so and why he hates(for real! LOL!). You know, either I'm new-school or old-school, there's a very, very big misconception about the Internet. I hope people understand that the internet is not known now as a tool, is used as a record...

No offense or anything but if you sit there and tell me that while I'm here typing this, not one person behind the scenes has my information many years ago? One word...Bulls-! I personally don't know the secrets but I am a conservative and leaving and typing your name the very first time on a website you never visited your whole life is the same thing as DNA, since is encrypted more than the one's your momma and daddy gave you...

If you sit there and tell me, no one is watching me, I don't believe you, I really don't, why? Because after I'm finished typing this, you know what time I wrote it, what time I stopped and started, which therefore, left bigger marks than Bigfoot. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that people are noisy or don't have values, I'm just saying there is nothing private when you write a sentence how you feel...

And believe it or not, there's so much controversy about the Internet. With the anatomy, and most importantly, identity. For example, I choose to write to CNN or ESPN or G4, I choose to because is my right and quite honestly, my choice, not yours. You just have markets and ads to try to lure me but I ain't stupid, if I like you, I will talk to you. I will admit when I was young, I was crazy on the Internet. Geez, I was young(not A-rod young, LOL!) I'm sure those records are still around, why? Because if there's one thing I know about encryption is the fact is traceable, like blood. It can be months old, years old, even decades but to be fair, this is arguably the highest peak it ever reached. And to tell you the truth, for some reason, the American people are fascinated with conversations, goes back to the founding fathers. But now, is just on the Internet and guess what? Do you know why people seem to express themselves more openly than others? Or even say crazy things than others? Not because they know each other, let alone they never, ever met, but because communication and this important thing, attachment, is involve. Let's face it, the Internet is like a big community tool, you pick out which one you like or don't, is your choice. Is like a diary...when you have(if) one and start writing crazy stuff, what happens? Communication(speaking or thinking to themselves) and attachment(notebook of diary for sense of support) occurs, you probably feel better for letting it out, or feel worse, guess what? An emotion triggers...

The internet is a very, very complicated tool. What I want people to understand is that I don't hope people feel like they are being watched or not, in other words, when you pay a bill and some crazy site(cough...cough, Facebook) sends information to other companies(by the way, you don't know) and there fore, get you to try this or that? That my friend is not conservatism...that is theft, intrusion and most importantly, invasion of privacy. Why?? Even though they may not be directly looking at your personal file at all angles, but they are definitely messin with and that to me, is unacceptable. What if you like it that your records and social security was tossed around with other companies you don't even know? Don't get me wrong, they do that, with criminals and so on, right? But guess what? Not with people!!!

I have a lot to say about this subject which won't be enough time to talk about. It is the future and I've been on it for many years...

...Ohh and for the record guys, you guys at CNN and the other websites I mentioned, don't worry, I write to you because I like you, you can drink my blood if you want, LOL!!

Joe   February 22nd, 2009 2:51 am ET

It makes no sense that Facebook would risk messing up a good thing by edging in on people's intellectual property. They had people's trust and then they go and risk losing it; not smart.

Ed   February 24th, 2009 12:17 am ET

As a professional artist (photographer, in my case) I would never, ever upload an image to a website if the terms allowed the site's owners to own my work. I'd say most artists would agree. If they want all artists of all kinds to adandon them, they'll try this again. If they hadn't changed their minds faster than I could yank my work, I would have, and never ever gone back.

Jim   February 25th, 2009 10:33 am ET

Why is the photo of Ms. Brown a mirror image? The words on her shirt are backwards. Odd...

Franko   February 27th, 2009 12:27 pm ET

Searching for Mr. Right
She had printed the words, so if you look at her in a mirror
You could easily tell she was a ¿?¿?¿?

JAy.   March 2nd, 2009 2:35 pm ET

Love that Ms. Brown is touting her right to privacy. There are two issues there:

1) If she is putting something on Facebook, she certainly does not want it to be private. She wants to show it off.

2) I don't know where people get the idea that they have any right to privacy. The US Constitution protects people from illegal search and seizure by the governement. This is not equivalent to a "right to privacy". And it certainly is not applicable to a private entity such as Facebook.

And by the way, Ed the artist has it right. If you have something for which you hope to maintain intellectual property or copyright, you better be darn careful where you store it, especially on the internet. Ed, I would get your artwork off of Facebook pronto. The TOS they are currently using still allow them to use your work as long as you are an active member!

Franko   March 3rd, 2009 1:40 am ET

"I don’t know where people get the idea that they have any right to privacy"

People want it, however, the government wants it only for the government
"members of the leadership class" - “responsible men”
Secretive, dictatorial corporations, but you are not a corporation
With unlimited legal resources, bailouts, able to afford lobbyists
You want the Privacy of Piracy ? are you trying to listen to a Pirated mp3 ?

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