Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Facebook Privacy Notice You've Seen is a Hoax

Have you seen the "privacy notices" posted on the Facebook pages of some photographers over the past week or so? Guess what? It's a hoax.

You've most likely seen people posting something like this . . .

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 If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status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.

This new notice started spreading after Facebook posted its new privacy guidelines. In them, Facebook announced it would let users comment on proposed changes, but not vote on said revisions to their policy documents. A similar set of postings took place this past summer when FB revised privacy guidelines.

The "purpose" behind posting such a notice on one's page is that the privacy of its users will be affected because Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. This is not true.

Here's the bottom line: Back when you signed up for a Facebook user account, you agreed to their "Terms of Service".  Posting a "disclaimer" on your Facebook page(s) does nothing to change or alter that. You and Facebook are still responsible for abiding by the same terms and conditions that you accepted at that time.

Or think of it from this perspective:

As photographers, we expect our clients to follow copyright laws already in place. Even so, we place logos on our images and inform them of copyright rules in advance. Your client cannot write something on the back of a print you're created that negates the copyright logo you've placed on the front!

- David Grupa

Need some additional reading on this subject? Look here:







  1. You are always right on top of this, thank you for keeping us informed!

  2. I was wondering about these! Thanks for explanation!

  3. This stuff is always so confusing for me. Thanks for helping me understand.

  4. Thank you so much for explaining - I was wondering how true it is :)