Jun 8, 2012

Sorry, But The Facebook Privacy Notice is Bogus

I am a huge advocate for online privacy and for government agencies to mind their damned business. Governments should protect the people, and serve the people, not spend their time trying to control the people. Well obviously with stuff like SOPA, CISPA and countless other bills that keep getting introduced in congress, people, including myself, are all in a tizzy worried about how our online exploits are going to be affected.

Preying upon that fear, I have been seeing a lot of posts on Facebook from people with a legal looking disclaimer they posted claiming that if you post a particular privacy notice that you will magically be immune from Government snooping. Well, sorry to break it to you, that's not going to fly in court Jack!

According to Snopes.com, the Internet's foremost authority on bogus Internet posts:

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

This claim about protecting your privacy rights on Facebook by posting a particular legal notice to your account is similar to an item which circulated several years ago positing that posting a similar notice on a web site would protect that site's operators from prosecution for piracy. In both cases the claims were erroneous, an expression of the mistaken belief that the use of some simple legal talisman — knowing enough to ask the right question or post a pertinent disclaimer — will immunize one from some undesirable legal consequence. The law just doesn't work that way.

Basically, when you sign up for a site like Facebook, you have to agree to their Privacy Notice. If you don't agree, you don't get an account. It's that simple. You can't just agree to their Privacy Policy then post some legalese to your Facebook wall and negate it all. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news...

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