We Own You

I’ve been reading about this change to Facebook’s Terms of Use since I first read it on Mashable. I agree that their change was a bit “extreme” and I hope they fix the wording. But, I’ve seen people freak out due to the another part of their Terms of Use that says Facebook has the right to publish, re-use and distribute your content once you upload it. Truthfully, that isn’t really any different than most websites you probably use on a daily basis. For example, Google’s Blogger (home to Blogspot.com) says this in their terms of use:

“By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services which are intended to be available to the members of the public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying and distributing Google services.”

You see the same sort of stuff on Yahoo, too. It’s a basic “cover all bases” clause that allows them to publicly print your information on their services. I agree that it’s not “we’ll keep your data forever and use it however we like” but it’s still your standard terms of use. Google does own a lot of other sites which fall under “Google services.” Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been using computers since I was a wee lad and have been using the Internet since I was 14 or 15 and we had to use Lynx to browse the “World Wide Web.” Plus, we had to dial-up to the Internet on our 2400-baud modems, both ways, in the snow…oh wait, I got off-track there. To me, the standard Terms of Use are pretty..well..standard. I only upload/share information that I expect to be shared around. I also can’t stop someone else from uploading a photo of me, which then completely stops me from removing it.

I’m definitely not backing Facebook and their new (now defunct) Terms of Use, since it was a bit out of the ordinary, but I’m also not going to delete my account there. I do think these sites should take a more open approach to their terms, but I think some people need to look around at all of the sites they use before coming to a final conclusion.

About Brian Zalewski

I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy, and welcomed the birth of our daughter, Aerissa Jean, in 2010 and our son, Xander Lee, in 2012. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.

Additional Resources

A Featured Post

US Navy Muster Rolls

Ancestry just recently add a massive collection of U.S. Navy Muster Rolls from 1938-1949. My grandfather, Richard Zalewski, served with the Navy from about 1940 to 1946. Here is their description: This database contains U.S. Navy muster rolls and associated reports of changes for U.S. Navy enlisted personnel who served on U.S. Navy ships or […]