New Facebook Fine Print Irks Users in Privacy Tug-of-War

Clause giving site permanent license to content slammed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2009 4:46 AM CST
Users are up in arms over the latest update to Facebook's terms of service, which gives the site permanent license to users' conten, even if an account is deleted.   (AP Photo/Medill, News Service, Lillian Cunningham)
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(Newser) – An outcry over a terms of service change has forced Facebook's founder to reassure users that they still own and control their own information, the New York Times reports. The update—which remains unchanged—removed a provision that said users could delete their content at any time, and added a clause saying users’ content would be retained even after accounts are terminated.

Facebook spokesmen stressed that the company's philosophy of users owning their information was unchanged, and that the update was intended to reflect user behavior. Comments left by users, for example, will not vanish if an account is deleted, they said. Some users, protesting that the new terms mean "Facebook owns you," have deactivated their accounts. Legal experts say Facebook's fine print isn't much different from many other websites.