Facebook sued over terms of service changes

By Justin Mann on August 18, 2009, 5:05 PM
If you think it's hard to keep just a small handful of people happy, imagine the monumental work behind keeping 250 million people happy. That's one of the tasks that huge social networking sites face on a daily basis, balancing the needs of tens or hundreds of millions of opinions all at once. Facebook has apparently failed in this, to the point that some users have decided to sue. It doesn't take much thought to stumble upon the reason why: Privacy.

With millions of people dumping very personal information onto the site, it seems many of them have an expectation as to who truly owns this. Due to recent changes to their privacy policy, Facebook seems to be taking the position that anything submitted to their site becomes their own property a stance that has users in an uproar and has resulted in at least five people filing suit against the service.

Facebook denies the claims and plans to defend themselves against the accusations. The fight itself may not boil down to the wording in Facebook's terms, but rather the process involved in changing it. Part of the suit relies on a claim that Facebook doesn't notify (or notify properly) of changes to the ToS. Though just another suit among many, this is another example of the continuing struggle between users and service providers, battling over who truly owns what.

User Comments: 2

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Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sorry, to me this is a no-brainer... People are uploading things onto someone else's servers, using someone else's services, and whining about ownership? It's your data only if it's on your own personal locked down network with no portal to the outside world. As soon as you place data on someone else's system, or post it on the internet, you have no way to ensure ownership and/or privacy - it's effectively been dropped into a cyber public domain... Kind of common sense, I would think. If you have something you don't want others to own/copy/use in any way, ummm, maybe you should not put it somewhere that is out of your control?

You play an MMO, and any character you create is not YOUR property, it's the MMO company's property... Forever... Why? Because you are using their system, so you have to play by their rules. Let's just think of Facebook as a giant social network MMO, and if you are stupid enough to post things you didn't want others to have, too bad you lose - we'll consider it a form of internet Darwinism.

Twister123 Twister123 said:

I'm glad to see any company rupert murdock owns being sued , pity sean hannity or bill o'reilly weren't sued for mass BSing , Fox news apparently there current slogan is fair and balanced , hilarious.

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