Facebook Privacy Notice Still Useless, Still Circulating [Video]

A “Facebook Privacy Notice” status update meme has re-trended on the social network, popping up in the feeds of users as an imagined legal protection against Facebook as an entity using your personal information.

The Facebook privacy notice meme is often called a “hoax,” which it is technically not — more a frenzied redistribution of misinformation and some scarelore.

A newer version blames Facebook’s going public during its IPO as the reason, but earlier ones referred to a change in privacy policies — which the site is known to do. A recent set of changes related to Facebook Graph Search may have prompted the revival of the Facebook privacy notice meme, but the assertions made within it are no more true today than they were when the update hoax first appeared.

This version of the Facebook meme begins:

“Channel 13 News was just talking about this change in Facebook’s privacy policy. Better safe than sorry. As of October 15, 2013 at 10:30 pm Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future.”

Treating Facebook’s status update function as a deposition of sorts, the statement goes on to say:

“By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information.”

Irrelevant laws are cited to lend credibility to the Facebook privacy notice meme, and it concludes:

“The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically* allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and Paste.”

(*We believe you mean “tacitly.”)

While the Facebook privacy notice meme sounds legit, it still offers precisely nothing in the way of legal protection and few remedies exist to evade Facebook’s privacy policy changes. Even deleting your account is no guarantee your information won’t be saved, stored, or used in the future, and much of what Facebook knows about you is gleaned from your actions rather than posting.

Snopes has covered the Facebook privacy notice meme since it began circulating, and tracks the new and still false iterations here.