Facebook Privacy Notice a scam?

The warning in question:

*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 photo`s 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(s), agent(s), student(s) 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

It is recommended that other members post a similar notice to this or you may copy and paste this one. Thank you. This is now a publicly traded site, Protect Yourself!

Things for you to think about:

For those of you who do not understand the reasoning behind this posting, 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

This message is circulating Facebook as users are posting it to their status. The message provides various legal privacy statements and the paragraph at the end urges users to post the message. It also mentions that Facebook is a publically traded website.

It is unclear regarding the motivation for posting it. The message hints that because Facebook is now a publically traded website that Facebook users should be more careful with their personal accounts which can be achieved by posting the above message to their profiles.

This, however, is pointless for two reasons -

1. Just because Facebook is now a publically traded website this does not affect what Facebook can or cannot do with the information you share on Facebook. You, and Facebook, are still bound to the same terms and conditions, and Facebook have to notify you regarding any significant changes to those terms. The term “publically traded” does not refer at all to how your data is treated on Facebook – i.e. this does not mean your information on Facebook is publically traded. It still has the same privacy conditions as before when Facebook was a private company. The term “publically traded” means that the public can buy Facebook shares on the stock market.

2. Posting the above message makes NO difference to what Facebook – and others – can do with that data on your profile. When you sign up to Facebook you have to agree to their terms and conditions which includes Facebooks own privacy terms. The implication that Facebook users can make up their own privacy conditions merely by posting a message on their profile is ridiculous. You can read Facebooks data policy here.

The message quotes the Uniform Commerical Code with the code “UCC 1-103 1-308″ attached to the end. The UCC deals with commerical law in the United States, and nothing to do with privacy or social networking, meaning even if Facebook did not have its own terms of service, or even if posting the above message did somehow supercede Facebooks terms of service, it would still be meaningless because it has nothing to do with online privacy.

Facebook users are advised to be aware that posting the above message to their Facebook account would be completely pointless and will have NO effect on how their data is used. Also worth remembering is that if you really want something to stay private make sure you have the correct privacy settings applied, or better yet, do not post it on Facebook, a site designed for sharing information.

Facebook is the perfect platform for starting and spreading viral rumors. Hundreds of false rumors are passed between site members every single day, some accumulating prolific and worldwide circulation. Be it sharing pictures or posts or updating your status, the social networking nature of Facebook ensures an easy path for misinformation.

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