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Security, Social

Facebook scam: Privacy Notice and Going Public

I’m seeing this one do the rounds at the moment, even via some IT Professions. Relates to UCC 1-103 1-308 and Facebook being floated on the stock market, “going public“.
At the time of writing this is already at least a week old but seems to be gaining ground.
First, here’s an example that I’ve seen recently.
Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates. PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning - any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other "picture" art posted on my profile. You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control. The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Now, anyone following me knows, I hope, that most chain-posts on Facebook are fraud, spoofs, scams or just plain stoopid.
Alas, this is no exception.
Spoof on this occasion.
There are a few issues with this.

  1. Facebook Gone Public
  2. Utterly irrelevant to your contract with Facebook.
    Utterly irrelevant to you rights to privacy with Facebook.
    Floating on the stock market means that the company itself has to be more transparent with certain financial details. It is still a company and the same contract law continues to apply to you and your relationship with Facebook.
    The appropriate Contract Law applies to all companies.

  3. UCC 1-103 1-308
  4. Talking about Law, these are financial laws. I’m struggling to apply them in any way to customers of Facebook. Uniform Commercial Law is the acronym. If you want to look up a little more on these then try here. The provisions of UCC-1 seem to relate to the protection/relationships between debtors/creditors/lessors.
    Certainly nothing to do with privacy.

  5. Terms of Service
  6. You cannot alter the terms of your contract by anything as blasé as a posting. You need to agree a change of contract with Facebook. Won’t happen.

  7. Limiting Content Use
  8. Alas, if you want to limit use of your content. you need to set up your own site. The act of posting content on a Social Media site leaves you open for that information to be used.
    Alas, don’t post anything on Facebook if you don’t want it ‘misused’. At the very least, ensure you have altered the Privacy Settings on your content to the level you expect. If it is set to ‘Public‘ then that is exactly what it is. There are plenty of entries in my own ‘Facebook‘ section on setting ‘Privacy‘ on articles, posts, photos and such.

Nothing AT ALL has changed with respect to your privacy. If Facebook contact you directly then that is different.
An example of such a change is what happened in March (2012) with Google. An advertised and notified change of privacy terms.
No such change has taken place for Facebook.

  • Legally Privileged and Confidential
  • Rubbish. If the content is either of these things why is it on Facebook? Also, adding a notice like this to all your data, whether privileged or not, has the effect of making the statement null and void in most jurisdiction.

    If you see one of these, post a link to this page an do not forward it.
    I always recommend that the reader also continue to research the issue themselves. For example, via the link mentioned earlier to UCC-1. Another useful link is Facebook’s own posting on the issue here. Indeed, follow the FBPrivacy page and also make yourself aware of what is included in the Terms & Conditions in Facebook – especially the Privacy section.
    From the comments I have received I have made a minor edit to this post. I have included the links to UCC and Facebook Privacy statements, rephrased a small number of items and such but the content itself has not altered. Thank you call for your feedback.

    PS: It has been brought to my attention that there is a proposed change to the phrasing of the Data Usage Policy. This link here is important to let you understand these changes. Further information is also available here. Once you have read and understand the changes Facebook invite you to vote on the changes here.
    None of this, however, has anything to do with ‘Going Public‘.

    About harlekwinblog

    "Thoughts of an idle mind." Information Security professional.


    14 thoughts on “Facebook scam: Privacy Notice and Going Public

    1. Word for the day: Alas. 😉

      Posted by Chip Senn | 2012/06/04, 4:17 pm
    2. Just to note that there are changes being proposed to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) and Data Use Policy. More info and a link to the Site Governance Vote can be found on Facebook’s Site Governance page:

      Of course this has nothing to do with the above spoof.

      Posted by Legacy | 2012/06/05, 12:46 am
    3. Following on from all the interest and especially ‘Legacy’ here’s an important link to check from time to time.
      Follow the many links in it too to get a much better idea of what is involved in Facebook privacy.
      Facebook privacy (other)

      Posted by harlekwinblog | 2012/06/05, 1:38 am
    4. i like it..thanks for the info..keep it up blogmate

      Posted by tweaksmachine | 2012/06/05, 7:52 am
    5. This post is hard for the average person to understand. I certainly do not want to have any of my information from profile or friends list used in any way against me or anyone viewed through any website I might use. The public needs to know the truth. How creditable is this post? I will have to research more then the average social website user would to be able to understand this article. I know most will not understand it. Most will not understand the Privacy Notice it self.

      Posted by Monica Vorderlandwehr | 2012/06/05, 10:55 am
      • My appologies if the post unclear or lacks credibility.

        If you have set up your Facebook page in such a way that your Friends list is visible or your content/profile are public then like any other “publicliation” you have made it available as described by Facebook’s own T&C.
        As the publisher, you have certain rights provided to you by Facebook. You can hide content from groups or individuals or remove it completely if you wish.
        All of tis relates to your relationship with Facebook.
        I would always recommend that people do their own research on issues that they are worried about and one simple one here is to look up UCC 1-103 1-308. Uniform Commercial Code is the acronym. UCC 1 is related to Creditors/Debtors/lessors and so forth. Reference: Cornell, amongst many others. As I stated, I am struggling to apply these in any context to Facebook “Profiles” “Pictures” or the like.
        Anything you want to protect, copyright it and place the copyright statement prominently. Better – don’t post it on Facebook, rather self publish and link back to it.
        There are some statements that seem to contradict Law: “taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein“.
        If you wanted an indication that the statement presented is erroneous: look at the final statement:
        The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law.It isn’t legal privileged information at all. If it was, it wouldn’t be public. A generic statement of “Legal Privilege” across all you data where some may not be so renders all statements of such invalid.

        These kinds of “circulars or “chain posts” are annoying at best, seriously misleading at worst.
        Simple message: Read ALL of the Facebook Privacy Statement. Don’t post anything precious, harmful or illegal. This Gent worked for Facebook and knows his stuff too.

        Posted by harlekwinblog | 2012/06/05, 1:42 pm
    6. Snopes picked it up too. Thank you for this post. I’ve been pointing people to it to try and educate them in the concept of legal contracts.

      Posted by Cliff | 2012/06/05, 11:13 pm
      • Thanks,
        It should be noted that this is a blog and should not be confused with Legal Advice.
        I am not a lawyer, merely a humble IT Security Pro.
        Having said that, I hope this is all common sense really.

        Posted by harlekwinblog | 2012/06/06, 6:38 am
    7. I got very close to be scammed too, but I used the Scam Detector app. Highly recommended, check them out. http://www.scam-detector.com

      Posted by Gopal Das | 2012/06/07, 6:25 am
      • Hi,
        Thanks for that – they also have an iPhone App for those who really want to follow them.
        I also keep a close eye on Hoax Slayer, http://www.hoax-slayer.com.
        Hoax Slayer has a good page on Facebook, worth subscribing to.
        Alas, all the normal feeds seemed to be a little slow picking this one up so I wrote my own article.
        Glad everyone’s cottoned on now though.

        Posted by harlekwinblog | 2012/06/07, 6:47 am
    8. Thanks for this well-written information; I had been wondering about that since I saw it. I am still wondering aloud though if it is somehow tied to the “anti-government sovereign movement” that is being reported in the news, but am thinking less so now that I read your explanation. Thanks again. Regardless, I will not be posting that on my FB account.

      Posted by H.Jones | 2012/06/08, 7:09 pm

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