back to article Facebook downplays eternal user data grab

Responding to a torrent of outrage and suspicion over changes to Facebook's terms of service, the site's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is asking users to trust the social networking company with eternal permission to use and license all content and information ever posted there - even after an account is deleted. Zuckerberg …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Mr. Facebook there is sounding suspiciously like a smarmy used car salesman. Proffering a pen to an unwitting customer about to shell out thousands for a beat to hell clunker and saying "trust me" with a cheesy grin on his face. I'd trust facebook with original content about as far as I could toss their data center and frankly anyone who does and is shocked they would make a grab for that content even after you don't want it on their site anymore is just plain deluded.

  2. Charlie Barnes


    Ha! Trust. Thats a good one.

  3. Dave

    Information Underload

    My solution is that all I have on my Facebook account is enough to identify me to people I know that might be looking for me (I've never friended anyone that didn't friend me first, it's an experiment to see how it spreads). I don't use it for anything else.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Big Brother

    It's the Feds looking through the scope of their guns for another case to up their numbers. If you don't want grandma to read it, don't post it.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Facebook obsessives threaten world stability

    Discuss or get a real life! It's a bugger but It has happened. The sound you hear is the bolting of the stable door. The horse has gone, The jockey is flat on his/her arse, the bookies have moved on to the next meeting... There will be no Stewards Enquiry

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Easily solved ... if they wanted to.

    Just insert in an appropriate part of the sentence "but only to be shared for the purposes you have specifically ASKED us to".

    There's no need for the permission to be any wider to do that job, and therefore the permission should be worded so as NOT to grant any wider permission.

  7. Sonya Fox

    Mark Fuckerburg... a pretentious, conniving little twat.

    "consistent with how other services like email work"

    Hardly. When I signed up for e-mail there was nothing in the TOS about retaining any of my messages for even five minutes, let alone forever.

    (Although it should be said that there isn't really any actual content on a social networking site.)

  8. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    They will quit Facebook forever

    when they give up crack. Then when they come back, they will bitch about having to redo their pages.

    Paris, keywords: crack, bitch, forever.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny that

    I deleted my facebook account the day before yesterday, moments before seeing a rant about it on, and now I read this!

    There are lots of things suitable for social networking over the internet, such as email & news.

    (What about opensocial? I haven't heard much about it recently)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    New Terms

    How are they going to push these terms onto their existing users?

    At no point have I been told that the terms have changed, and at no point have I told Facebook that I accept these terms.

    As far as I am concerned these terms do not apply to me until such a time as I am informed of the change and accept that I will abide by them.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Does anyone ....

    really important or relevant actually still have a Farce-book account?

    Shudder ...

  12. John Tserkezis

    Are we that surprised? No really?

    This began early on when Mr McMySpace said it started as an idea to make money by selling off details that users would otherwise not care about handing out. Run a "social networking" site for a while, then sell it off and make a bucketload of money.

    Now that Mr McFaceBook wants some coin to justify the outlay of offering yet another "social networking" site, everyone cries foul?

    If you want an social network site, then use the well-established newsgroup system. Don't worry, newsgroups are littered with port, spam and malware too.

    If you're lonely, talk to your damn neighbour. They're less likely to tell the rest of the world too.

    This justifies a 'poor baby, now shut up and get over it'. So there.

  13. Matthew


    Zuckerberg and Facebook are speaking out of each side of their mouths right now.

    "Our philosophy is that people own their information and control who they share it with,"

    Beacon? What happened to the opt-out there? Only happened in the face of massive protest.

    "Without this license, we couldn't help people share that information."

    No, this licence does not need to be this restrictive or grasping to accomplish this. I've written and designed these sorts of licensing agreements. It doesn't need to be that one-sided to share that kind of personal information. Especially relating to deleted/deactivated accounts. They can do carve-outs if they're serious about minimizing the impact here.

    Email...yeah right.

    Sorry, I'm sceptical of this, and the brain-trust that tries to pull Beacon on consumers without an opt-out does not get my blank trust.

    Not while they've left in that god-awful "we can change these terms at any point without notice" stuff. Any other clauses are irrelevant. So long as this one is here, it is necessary to assume the absolute worst.

    It may be a bit paranoid. But it's also an unfortunate reality.

  14. Neoc


    "Zuckerberg jumped into PR damage control mode Monday afternoon with a blog post attempting to sooth Facebook users"

    Is Mr.Z trying to "sooth" (predict the future) or "soothe" (calm down) the users?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Facebook, Myspace users

    1. Numpties, all of you!

    2. Delete, remove, wipe, destroy

    3. Cancel account

    4. Log off

    5. Insert real life --> here <--

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Backed Down

    " A couple of weeks ago, we posted an update to our Terms of Use that we hoped would clarify some parts of it for our users. Over the past couple of days, we have received a lot of questions and comments about these updated terms and what they mean for people and their information. Because of the feedback we received, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog."

  17. Mark C

    Long Gone

    Thanks, but I collected my coat ages ago .....

    Deleted my FB account last year - it added precisely no value to my life other than seeing how often my daughter (who is old enought to know better - I blame the parents) was doing things I didn't really want to know about.

  18. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    It's deja vu all over again?

    It must be bloody Groundhog Day or something.

    First .NET Passport (MS backed down).

    Then MySpace (backed down).

    Then Google Orkut (neither of the people who used it gave a flying f***).

    Then Google Chrome (world had a hissy fit - Google backed down).

    Now ArseBonk (who appear to be backing down).

    All the above to be found recorded here, courtesy of your friendly search box. Hint: Find the Chrome one, it links to the others.

    I guess that everyone involved in this type of service knows damned well that the only way that they can really make money is by owning the content and commercialising it in the future. Unfortunately for them, when you have a huge user base the chance that someone actually *reads* the Ts and Cs before thumping the "accept" button is quite high.........

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They have to remove data-

    cause of teh data protection act, if they have ANY servers in the UK at all they are to abide by it, no longer than is nessicarry , if you delete your account its not needed any more!

    Am sure the us has something similar!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By hook or by crook, we will!

    I sometimes wonder whether the social network information-grab (we will monetise it... um... somehow, right?) will fall flat on its face when the world realises that for every neatly filled in vein of marketing information, there are at least ten profiles purporting the user to live on the moon, work as a midget David Bowie impersonator and have hobbies of "Edam, Gouda, Jarlsberg and studying the philosophical ramifications of the music of The Monkees."

    Even the networking information can't be *that* useful due to the trend of befriending everybody the user has ever met, been to school with, or happened to see in a random search...

    A large dataset which is primarily noise is, after all, just a big pile of worthless junk.

  21. Markie Dussard

    @Facebook, Myspace users

    Alternatively, you could keep your sneering, misanthropic arse-flappery to yourself.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hotel California


    Don't worry about it, it's only a legal thing.

  23. raving angry loony

    change of terms

    I guess in Facebook's world it's called copytheft, not copyright.

    One of the reasons I only put enough info there for people to get back in touch with me. Damned if I'm going to put anything useful there. If they want my "I'm at work at 2am" status messages, they're welcome to them.

  24. Jason Rivers
    Thumb Down

    Facebook: Never again

    I got fed up with everyone being able to see everything on facebook about a year ago... and at the time, I "tried" deleting my account... but no, you can't do that. so I went through updating everything with "blanks" and after some fighting left it with little information.

    however, when you remove your account you receive a message saying "to re-enable your account just log in as normal" - oh, so my account *isn't* deleted then... this drew the line for me, and I swore I would _NEVER_ use this again, I will not be subject to a system that keeps information about me, against my will. if I ask you to remove my account, I expect you to remove it, not just set a 1 to a 0 in a database somewhere...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Total Information Awareness

    One of the big payers behind crackface is the NSA/TIA program. just so you can help profile the world for the New World Order.

    At least it's fun, I wouldn't want to give all my information up if it was boring.

  26. Elmer Phud

    It's only money (re: are we that surprised)

    People are so sensitive about things these days. Mr McFaceBook doesn't really give a toss what he's trying to flog, he's only trying to keep Faceache going for the addicts.

    There are nasty shareholders who have paid huge sums for what amounts the 'Latop switched for a bag of spuds' con and they need thier 0.454 kilo of flesh. Just like in 'The Meaning of Life' when things get tough for a poor family, you have to sell off the kids you've nurtured over the years.

    "Every share is sacred, every share is great, if a share is wasted, accountants get irate'

    It's only capitalism, it ru(i)ns the world.

  27. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Train Wreck?

    I was instantly suspicious of this lot when it started up. Seems my suspicions are confirmed.

    Not that I've got time for all this crap anyway. I've even been knwn to go several days without reading El Reg. :)

    The one with the NT map in the pocked and by the walking boots

  28. Nic

    @AC - 04:30

    I love reading comments on the register from people claiming that facebook users should get a life.

    Oh the irony...

    I have a facebook account, so do my friends, family and village. I like it. I don't put anything up there that I wouldn't want to be shared.

  29. Peter Kay

    History shows they aren't to be trusted

    Has everyone forgotten the quickly abandoned company tie ins with Blockbuster and others already?

    On the other hand, this is a clear case of user stupidity and not obeying the Prime Rule of the Internet : Don't put anything online that you couldn't live with everyone in the world knowing about.

    A sensible attitude would be to delete all material that's placed in a personal profile permanently, but leave everything else. Forum posts, e-mails received by other people, pictures of you taken by other people. That's exactly how every other forum on the Internet works.

    Suddenly realised quitting won't remove that picture of you pissed and wearing a traffic cone posted by your friend Dave? Tough. That's just the way it works.

    I actually quite like facebook, but I wouldn't put anything particularly important on it, and I'd happily remove all functionality except status, e-mail, wall notes and photos.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Hurrah For Facebook!

    I see that they've changed it again now!

    "Terms of Use Update

    Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog.

    If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities."

    Fair play to them! I wish the government would react as quick to peoples unhappiness!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    All of your stuff are belong to us

    Legal question, shurely someone can answer this, Can one copyright override an existing copyright? I note that the arsebook "agreement" does not say that all prior copyright agreements are null and void

    1. Put text on all pictures "Facebook stole this"

    2. Put watermark/copyright notice on everything.

    3. Print everything you are going to load to Arsebook.

    4. Post it to yourself

    5. Sue Arsebook for breach of copyright.

    You considered opinion please.

  32. g e

    Ho hum

    Plenty to delete tonight then, assuming of course that Farcebook haven't already archived everything in anticipation of a 'revolt' against it that is....

    Still the thought of Zuckerberg being able to even make 0.1c from one of my 'Misc & Abstract' photos without my say-so is enough for me to wipe the photo album along with the rest tonight. Oh, and the messages and notes.

    Facebook is fun enough but this bitch does NOT belong to Reichmarshall Zuckerberg

  33. jai

    re: @AC - 04:30

    i quite agree

    i assume this "life" that the OP was referring to involves lots of sitting in front of a computer posting anonymous comments on El Reg

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Another Idea

    Uplaod all your music to arsebook, then the R.I.Ass.A. will not be able to sue downloaders as they will no longer have the copyright :-P

  35. Kirstian K

    Re : FB Users Get A Life.

    Its funny, a large bunch of us from all over the south of england all have a group,

    and use it for socialising purposes, arraging events, days / weekends away.

    sharing photo's, contacting each other. social interaction before and after the event.

    the way i see it, its helping us enhance our lives by using a tool correctly.

    dont get me wring, i delete every bloody request i get for throw a spear at you best mates crotch or whatever. but the missus is preg at the mo, and bored at home, and the 'Fun'

    side caters to her requirements.

    the point is, modern day dinasors will always complain about change without having the capacity to see the bigger picture.

    we should all take responsibility to censor what is shown about us, but we all connect to each others lives. if you delete information, that is linked to me some how, do you have my permission to remove it too?

    what about when we are all dead and gone, it 'May' be nice for our siblings to be able to look back and see our (ok usually fake / skewed view) on life, but i for one am looking forward to my great great great grans kids asking the computer to show me pics of my ancestors, and what they liked and how they did it. by removing all this information you are removing yourself from history.

    be carefull, be safe, and enjoy the 21st century people......!

    Mines the one with the funny smelling cigarettes in the pocket.. man!

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