Facebook terms of service changes cause controversy

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Facebook.com recently changed its terms of service, creating controversy when members noticed many of the changes.

According to a FOX News article, when Facebook changed its terms of service on Feb. 4, the popular social networking company declared it had a perpetual license “to use anything you post on your own Facebook page, even if you terminate your account.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on his blog Wednesday that the company has returned to its previous terms of service while employees work to address members’ concerns.

A new group, Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, was created so members can find out more information while also being able to post their input. Zuckerberg said it would probably take a few weeks to decide on final changes.

In another blog Zuckerberg posted Monday by Zuckerberg, “On Facebook – People Own and Control Their Own Information,” he clarified some of the questions people have raised.

“Our philosophy is that people own their information and control who they share it with. When a person shares information on Facebook, they first need to grant Facebook a license to use that information so that we can show it to the other people they’ve asked us to share it with. Without this license, we couldn’t help people share that information,” he wrote in the post.

Travis Cornolo, freshman in mechanical engineering, said if Facebook keeps the new terms, it would make him think twice about what he posts, but he would still use the site.

“I don’t know if I would have put up some stuff initially if I knew they would use the information for other things,” Cornolo said.

Zuckerberg explained in his blog that when a person sends a message to a friend, two copies are created — one in the person’s sent messages box and one in the friend’s inbox. Even when a person deactivates their account, the friend will still have a copy of that message.

“We think this is the right way for Facebook to work, and it is consistent with how other services like e-mail work,” Zuckerberg wrote.

“People want full ownership and control of their information so they can turn off access to it at any time,” he continued. “At the same time, people also want to be able to bring the information others have shared with them — like e-mail addresses, phone numbers, photos and so on — to other services and grant those services access to those people’s information. These two positions are at odds with each other.”

If Facebook does change its terms of service, Cornolo said as long as the terms are posted for the public to see, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

“People should know what they are getting into,” he said.

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