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News Social Media

Bodybook – Because Facebook owns your face

Facebook owns the word Face. No, it really does. In the United States, Facebook owns the trademarks to the words ‘Face’, ‘Book’, ‘Wall’ and ‘Facepile’ as well as the aberration ‘FB’. It also has the rights to be the only company to use a single letter ‘F’ as their logo. Check out section 5.6 of their terms and conditions for the proof.

Cheers Facebook, there goes my plan of publishing my book ‘A book about my face on the wall’ in the US. Guess I will have to rename it ‘Pages of text about the front of my head on the structural divider.’ Only joking, I don’t plan on re-publishing it in the US.

Facebook Owns Your Content

As Jonny mentioned a while back, Instagram has the right to sell your pictures, and no doubt Facebook will soon too. Any picture you post on Facebook the social network already owns anyway. Check out section 2.1 of the terms I link to above:

“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos, you specifically give us the following permission… …you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook…”

So Facebook owns your pictures, your videos and your statuses. Don’t worry, if you delete them, usually most of the rights will transfer back to you, however so long as they remain live on Facebook, it can use them how it wants, as well as share them with its ‘partners’. This means that you could very easily become a victim of mistaken identity.

Terms of Service; Didn’t Read note how “Facebook automatically shares your information with Bing, Pandora, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, Clicker, Scribd, and Docs, unless you manually opt-out.” how lovely of them to share your stuff for you!

Terms of Service; Didn't Read logoRemember my 7th ever post on Technology Bloggers? Of course you do! 😉 I questioned whether or not Facebook was exploiting users by using status information to provide tailored advertising – without asking.

Facebook Own Your Face

Facebook has taken targeted advertising a step further since then. It has been using the names and pictures of around 150 million people in ‘Sponsored Stories’ without their permission and as a result sent out an email checking that this was okay. Those who responded to Facebook’s message will receive a $15 USD payment as compensation. Is that really all it costs to buy your identity? Did you get an email? Did you ignore it?

Facebooks email to users about updating its privacy policy
The email Facebook sent to me letting me know it was updating its privacy policy.

Anyhow, Facebook don’t like having to pay for your permission, so they have recently changed their terms and conditions. If you have a Facebook account, you will have been sent an email on the 30th of August about this change. If you deleted it, you can find an image of my email to the right.

The new terms state that Facebook can now use your face to claim you endorse its advertisers products. You know that face you are wearing, you no longer own the exclusive rights to it. Facebook legally part-owns your face.

Will everyone remove pictures of their faces and just have shots of their body? Or maybe people will use pictures of their pets. Then again, who wants Facebook to own their pets face…

Bodybook

I doubt many people will pay any attention to Facebook’s latest changes.

Will this spark the rise of a new Facebook, a Bodybook? Probably not, as most people seem to trust Facebook with their privacy… oh, and Facebook also owns the word book, so it would need to be Bodyjournal, which sounds like a totally different thing.

Christopher Roberts with no head
Which do you think should be my new profile picture, the one on the left or the one on the right?

Oh and don’t forget, there is a strong correlation with Facebook addiction and depression

Categories
Social Media

What Not To Share on Social Media

The point of social media is sharing, along with openness and at least trying to be yourself over the internet. While there are a lot of things worth sharing and airing to the world, there are some things that are best unsaid – or in this case un-tweeted, un-Facebooked, and just kept to yourself.

Photos of credit cards or other financials

You might be thinking “nobody is stupid enough to do that,” but the truth is, there are people who have already done it. Some people have posted photos of their credit cards – account numbers and all, leading to some nasty comments. Clearly, this is not a wise thing to do. Others post photos of bills, leaving their names and addresses unblurred. This is a big risk that can easily be avoided. You are nullifying a section of Facebook’s Community Standards that state:

“We take the safety of our members seriously and work to prevent attempts to compromise their privacy or security, including those that use fraud or deception. Additionally, we ask that you respect our members by not contacting them for commercial purposes without their consent.”

Pranks

If you post a link that is seemingly interesting, make sure it really does lead to a worthwhile page. Otherwise, you are just wasting people’s time. Rickrolling, where linking people to a YouTube video of Rick Astley singing “Never Gonna Give You Up” was very popular, is now an annoyance. Show some maturity. This may be in violation of this section from Facebook:

“Before sharing content on Facebook, please be sure you have the right to do so. We ask that you respect copyrights, trademarks, and other legal rights.”

As well as Twitter, from their Twitter Rules:

Copyright: We will respond to clear and complete notices of alleged copyright infringement. Our copyright procedures are set forth in the Terms of Service.”

It was said that Rick Astley asked the video to be taken down. When you Rickroll, you are committing a violation.

Vague updates

If you are being vague, you are most likely asking people for attention. You want them to ask you what it is about but the truth is, nobody really cares about your vague status updates.

Crass photographs – of yourself, no less

We are not all blessed with bodies of Greek gods and goddesses so it might be in everyone’s best interests to avoid uploading that self-portrait you took when you were fresh out of the shower. Besides, the terms of Facebook say that:

“Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”

Your contact details or anyone else’s

Your phone number is a very sacred thing that should only be given out to people you know and trust. There are lots of people on the internet that will take great pleasure in making your life miserable if you happen to post your contact details on any social media websites.

Social media privacy

Your address, photos of your home, and vacation dates

These are all a combination of ways to say “I will be gone on these days but hey, look where I live and see the nice things that will be left unattended”, which, in a nutshell, is an open invitation for people with less than noble intentions.

Threats and bullying

There is nothing worse than a bully who does their dirty work online. It is also a clear violation of Twitter and Facebook’s policies:

“Safety is Facebook’s top priority. We remove content and may escalate to law enforcement when we perceive a genuine risk of physical harm, or a direct threat to public safety. You may not credibly threaten others, or organize acts of real-world violence. Organizations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity are not allowed to maintain a presence on our site. We also prohibit promoting, planning or celebrating any of your actions if they have, or could, result in financial harm to others, including theft and vandalism.”

“Facebook does not tolerate bullying or harassment. We allow users to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but take action on all reports of abusive behavior directed at private individuals. Repeatedly targeting other users with unwanted friend requests or messages is a form of harassment.”

“Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.”

Violence and Threats: You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.”

Rules are there for a reason and following them will make social media sites a better place for everyone involved.

Categories
News Social Media

Facebook site governance vote – what you need to know

If you use Facebook, I highly recommend you read this article.

If you have an active Facebook account, then in the last week you should have received an email from the social network that looks a bit like the one below.

Our Global Site Governance Vote
The email that Facebook sent out to all users about the vote on its global site governance.

Facebook is planning on making some major changes to the way it operates, specifically concerning its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) and Data Usege Policy.

Since Monday of this week, until next Monday (10th of December) users of the social network get to vote on the proposed changes.

Which documents should govern the Facebook site?The ‘ballot paper’ gives you two options, to vote for:

  1. Proposed Documents: The proposed SRR and Data Use Policy
  2. Existing Documents: The current SRR and Data Use Policy

The vote will only be binding if one third of active users (around 300 million) vote, so your vote is very important!

So, what you probably want to know before you vote is what do the top options mean.

Option 1 – The proposed SRR and Data Use Policy

The proposed SRR and Data Use Policy, in a nutshell want to remove users voting rights. To make major changes to the site, Facebook in theory is currently obliged to ask users to vote on proposals. Facebook wants to stop this, giving itself complete control. It will instead ask users for their comments and feedback, and then (it claims) it will act on these to make changes to the platform, which the company believes are beneficial to users.

Option 1 also allows the network to share user data with its affiliates, across all its brands – like FriendFeed and Instagram. This is similar to what Google did earlier this year, when it changed its privacy policy. Google’s changes were much disputed, because of the ’empire’ of brands it owns. Facebook isn’t quite as big, but the changes are still important if you use more than one of its services.

The other major change that Option 1 would bring is that it would allow more people to message you, so if you like to have a more private and personal account, it could be harder to keep yourself as private on the network. It will do this by setting new ‘filters’ on the messaging service.

Option 1 will also see a change in how Facebook refers to certain products.

Option 2 – The current SRR and Data Use Policy

Option 2 votes to keep things as they are currently. To make any major privacy changes to the site, Facebook need to get approval via a vote, which must have a percentage of active users participate.

If you don’t like the current system, but are even more worried about the proposed changes, then Option 2 is more favourable, but really you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, as there are only two options.

Impartiality – In Facebook’s Defence…

As you can probably tell from the way I have been writing, I am more in favour of Option 2 than the proposed changes of Option 1. However, I try to ensure my writing remains as impartial, so I should give Facebook their say.

Facebook claim that the updates would be in line with what is currently “standard in the industry” in which it operates. It feels the changes would promote the “efficient and effective use of the services Facebook and its affiliates provide.”

Facebook also says that the current system favours the quantity of comments over their quality, which I can’t argue with. Currently a majority vote is needed from at least 30% of users to decide something, however were Facebook to better act on individual users opinions, and focus on what individuals are saying, rather than forcing people to vote for one option over another, should, in theory create a better social network.

That said, Facebook is likely to only act on the comments that will gain it users (or stop it from loosing them) and make it a profit. After all, it is a public limited company with a responsibility to make profits for its shareholders.

My counter argument is, if high-quality feedback is better than voting, why do many arguably successful and democratic countries around the world (like the UK, Australia, USA, all EU members etc.) elect their leaders? Why does the ballot paper have candidates on and not a ‘suggestions’ box? Then again in Facebook’s favour I suppose one could argue that 30% turnout from an online community is quite high, and could stop things moving forward, but then why not lower this to a more reasonable figure – say 15% or 20% of active users?

Enough waffling from me, it’s time to vote. To find out more about the vote, and to cast yours, head over to the official Facebook Governance Vote page.

Which option gets your vote?

Categories
Internet News Technology

See Anyone You Know? Face Recognition Comes Of Age

The National Academy of Sciences are about to publish an article in their proceedings entitled ‘Privacy In The Age Of Augmented Reality’, co-authored by Alessandro Acquisiti, Ralph Gross and Fred Stuzman. It is about developments in face recognition software.
How 2D facial scanners record identitiesTo use the authors’ words the document

“investigate(s) the feasibility of combining publicly available Web 2.0 data with off-the-shelf face recognition software for the purpose of large-scale, automated individual re-identification.”

They are also working on an app that can do it all from your phone! See the FAQ section here for more information. The article reports a series of experiments conducted over the last year or so during which the researchers try to identify a person from their photo using an over the counter face recognition software using information that is freely available over the internet.

The results are interesting. The experiments are as follows:
Students walking through the university campus were asked if their photo could be taken and to complete a questionnaire. As they were answering the questions the computation task was carried out, looking for a picture match on Facebook and requiring only seconds. In this case more than 30% of the students were immediately traced.

Because the faces were the same but the photos taken from different angles, humans had to decide which of the possible matches were the most appropriate, but that is not always the case. Some photos are replicated and therefore the computer can give a 100% guarantee that the match is correct.

For example in another experiment the researchers used an online dating agency that provided anonymous photos. In this case they could match names to the photos in about 10% of cases. In several cases the same photo had been used on different sites.

In a third experiment the knowledge gained was used to search for further private information, all freely available on the web, such as details of sexual preference, date and place of birth and this information even allowed them to generate the first five figures of the individual’s US social security number.

So it seems that we can draw a simple conclusion here, either now or in the very near future, as these technologies are improved and made freely available, anybody will be able to recognize anybody they see on the street, identify them through an app in their telephone, and find out about their interests and other personal information, if they have ever posted (or had posted for them) a photo of themselves on the internet.

For more information, please read my face recognition article on the Bassetti Foundation website.

Categories
Gadgets News Smartphones Technology

Is your smartphone too clever?

Smart phones are amazing. 50 years ago who would have predicted that you could hold a device smaller than your hand that could:

  • Take pictures
  • Connect with your car
  • Listen to music
  • Send text messages (SMS)
  • Make a video call with someone on the other side of the world
  • Track your location
  • Surf the internet
  • Understand your voice commands
  • …and loads loads more

Notice anything that could be a security risk from the list above? Well if you listen to the news, you will probably have heard the bad PR iPhone have got themselves by discovering a glitch which showed everywhere their owners had been!

Is the iPhone Safe?Apple have denied that they have been tracking users, but if someone got hold of an iPhone they would be able to download a list of every place that that phones (and probably it’s user) had been to, via the use of GPS.

Do you think that all these flashy features come at a price? Is the security of our private information being exposed more and more in this modern-day ‘technology powered’ world?

The thing is, it isn’t just the iPhone – the iPad has also been tracking users locations!

If you want to find out more, check out this online Q and A page on Apples website.

Another privacy issue…

A few days later Sony announced that it was taking down its PlayStation Network service, due to hacking which affected 77 million gamers!

Sony say that that the data might have fallen into the hands of an “unauthorised person” following a hacking attack on its online service. This data it thought to include things like names, passwords, addresses, date of births and email addresses. Another reason why it’s very important not to use one password for everything.

If you think you might have been affected by this other breach in security, check out Sony’s blog post on the issue.

Your views

Are we too dependant on technology? Do we give away too much information (often sensitive) about ourselves? Do firms really need all this data from us, and do they need to take a greater responsibility in implementing more measures to keep our info safe?

Categories
Gadgets News Smartphones Technology

Is your smartphone too clever?

Smart phones are amazing. 50 years ago who would have predicted that you could hold a device smaller than your hand that could:

  • Take pictures
  • Connect with your car
  • Listen to music
  • Send text messages (SMS)
  • Make a video call with someone on the other side of the world
  • Track your location
  • Surf the internet
  • Understand your voice commands
  • …and loads loads more

Notice anything that could be a security risk from the list above? Well if you listen to the news, you will probably have heard the bad PR iPhone have got themselves by discovering a glitch which showed everywhere their owners had been!

Is the iPhone Safe?Apple have denied that they have been tracking users, but if someone got hold of an iPhone they would be able to download a list of every place that that phones (and probably it’s user) had been to, via the use of GPS.

Do you think that all these flashy features come at a price? Is the security of our private information being exposed more and more in this modern-day ‘technology powered’ world?

The thing is, it isn’t just the iPhone – the iPad has also been tracking users locations!

If you want to find out more, check out this online Q and A page on Apples website.

Another privacy issue…

A few days later Sony announced that it was taking down its PlayStation Network service, due to hacking which affected 77 million gamers!

Sony say that that the data might have fallen into the hands of an “unauthorised person” following a hacking attack on its online service. This data it thought to include things like names, passwords, addresses, date of births and email addresses. Another reason why it’s very important not to use one password for everything.

If you think you might have been affected by this other breach in security, check out Sony’s blog post on the issue.

Your views

Are we too dependant on technology? Do we give away too much information (often sensitive) about ourselves? Do firms really need all this data from us, and do they need to take a greater responsibility in implementing more measures to keep our info safe?