Recently, a new Facebook privacy notice chain hoax is being circulated among Facebook users.
The notice says:
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. (M)
Posting a supposed legal disclaimer to your Facebook profile does not alter the Terms of Service (ToS) or privacy policies governing how your content is viewed on Facebook.
Reasons why this notice is not valid:
1. Facebook Gone Public : “Facebook is now a publicly traded entity” means that one can buy stocks / shares in the company – not the data.
2. UCC 1-103 1-308 : These are financial laws. Uniform Commercial Code is the acronym which itself suggests that it pertains to Commercial law. Certainly nothing to do with privacy!
3. Terms of Service: You cannot alter the terms of your contract by a mere post. You need to agree a change of contract with Facebook just like the Facebook’s terms and conditions which you agreed to when you signed up.
The best thing you can do to protect your privacy on Facebook is to act responsibly and post sensibly. Use the privacy controls and account settings about what information you post online in the first place. You can read the Facebook Legal Terms and and Data Use Policy here.
Stating such a notice on a status update or in your “About” section is meaningless.
If you receive one of these messages from a friend, do not forward it. Kindly notify them that it is not legally valid.
However, there is a proposed change to the Data Usage Policy of Facebook. None of this, however, has anything to do with Going Public. Facebook users can vote for the proposed changes here. Posting a mere status on your walls will not help.