27.2.09

The new Facebook Terms of Service

Sorry about the lack of links in this blog post, its was written offline

So, Facebook fsck'd up, and then reverted to the old Terms of Service. I'm glad to see that wasn't enough, since lots of people actually ended up reading the previous Terms of Service, that were already bad enough.

The most offending - for me at least - on any version of Facebook's TOS was the "blank contract" clause, a clause unfortunately seen in lot's of Terms of Services, and that basicly say "you're agreeing with this but you shouldn't even bother reading this stuff, because we can change it whenever we like and you automaticly signed the new terms".

Fortunately, it seems, a new set of terms is being drafted and scheduled to replace the old ones by the 29th of March. Now in a phase of discussion (with their users only, so those who don't have a Facebook account because they don't agree with the actual terms - probably the most critics about them - don't have much chance of voice their worries about the new Terms), this terms (until further re-draft, which might happen thanks to the comments being submited by Facebook users) replace the previous "blank contract" clause with this:

12.1 We can change this Statement so long as we provide you notice through Facebook (unless you opt-out of such notice) and an opportunity to comment

12.2 [...] we'll give you a minimum of seven days notice

Unfortunately, I still think this is hardly acceptable. You are warned about the new terms in the service, and if you don't act in seven days, even if you didn't read your Facebook messages in that period, you are automaticly accepting the new Terms.

With this, further discussion about other items is more or less irrelevant, since even if all the rest is acceptable, there's no warranty that one month after you sign it, the Terms are still the same. Remember: this isn't acceptable in any "paper contract" you sign, how come should it be acceptable in an online contract?

Anyway, let me highlight some other items in that Terms that should worry you...

2.3 For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub.licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of ("use") any content you post on or in connection with Facebook

3.2 You will not collect users' information, or otherwise access Facebook, using automated means (such as harvesting bots, robots, spiders, or scapers) without our permission

4.5 You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date

5.6 You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall and 32665) without our written permission

6.2 In the event you change or deactivate your mobile telephone number, you will promptly update your account information on Facebook to ensure that your messages are not sent to the person who acquires your old number

Sorry Facebook, to get me as an user, you still have a lot of work to do.

3 comments:

  1. boas Marcos,

    por acaso tb havia falado sobre esse tema aqui...

    http://ovigia.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/facebook-todos-os-vossos-dados-peretencem-nos-para-sempre/

    não são só as clausulas que me preocupam, embora eu não use esse tipo de sites, são também as ligações muito estranhas dos seus criadores e investidores, todos eles e elas ligados aos serviços secretos dos EUA.

    abç

    ReplyDelete
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    Hi, how did u make the above site? I am trying to build a planet for telugu blogs... please advise

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi dhaara, try http://www.planetplanet.org/ !

    ReplyDelete