Sorry folks, but 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.
Many (dozens!) of Facebook users have submitted tips to Naked Security over the last week alerting us to a new chain letter/hoax circulating among well-meaning Facebook users.
The message reads as follows:
"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 a......llowing 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)"
Another variant reads:
In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!
(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).
Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates…
Unfortunately taking control of your online identity is not as simple as making a declaration on your Facebook wall. Using any website to store content or personal details requires compliance with the site’s Terms of Service.
These messages are simply another chain letter type hoax pinned upon wishful thinking.
If you are uncomfortable with Facebook monetizing your content or making your content available to the US government you either need to avoid posting the content to Facebook, or more carefully control your privacy settings and hope the authorities don’t seek a court order for your information.
If you receive one of these messages from a friend, kindly notify them that it is not legally valid. You might also suggest they check with Snopes or the Naked Security Facebook page before propagating myths.
Terms and Conditions image courtesy of Shutterstock.