Facebook Privacy Disclaimers: Do They Do Anything?

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎11-26-2012 06:08 PM (16,797 Views)

The legal privacy “disclaimers” many Facebook users are copying to use in their own posts are not new.


They are actually duplicates of items sent out years ago in response to similar privacy concerns. Unfortunately (just like the previous round of posts) these new disclaimers won’t provide any “legal protection” beyond those already in the Facebook terms and conditions. (Check out this link for Facebook’s response to this latest round of privacy concerns.)


Some sites have started referring to these added disclaimers as “legal talismans”, added in the belief that the quoted legal code will protect the owner from harm. While the text often sounds official (and generally references legal code), they don’t actually supersede your agreements — and they aren’t very good legal documents anyway. (They often include mistakes, referring to the “Berner Convention” when they likely mean the “Berne Convention” and the like.)


The truth is this: adding disclaimers to your posts does not negate or retroactively change any of the terms and conditions you agreed to when you signed up and began using Facebook. When you sign up for Facebook, you accepted the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Privacy terms.


A good method to check the legitimacy of a claim is to Bing, Google or use some other internet search tool to see what others are saying about it. (Snopes.com is also a great clearinghouse for such things.)


As always, it is a good idea to investigate the terms and conditions of an agreement, especially for an online social network that will have access to your posted information. In the case of Facebook, you can view their complete list of terms and policies here.

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