Facebook Data Use Policy Confuses Users

Have you been seeing strange statuses on your Facebook newsfeed like the one below?

"In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos, and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For any and all commercial use of the above my written consent is required in every instance."

The intentions of these statuses are to create an exterior awareness to Facebook governance after the social networking site adopted two new documents: the Data Usage Policy and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. 

According to Discovery News, very slight edits of these policies have been adjusted. The transparency of what these actual changes are unseen by both journalists and larger news networks. Although there was little change, the notification of the minor alteration has caused confusion amongst daily users regarding their personal information and privacy. It raises an exterior question of business ethics: Legally, are our Timeline posts our own property or are they Facebook's property?

From what can be interpreted from Facebook's public accessible policies, by complying to use the platform via terms and conditions agreement, users face the reality that their content is not their own property, but fair play to any way Facebook chooses to govern and craft policy.

Regarding the convention mentioned in the status, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization's website, the Berner Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was an international agreement on copyright government dating back to the 19th century. This global discussion ultimately created the development of copyright laws. Although this may have brought fresh ideas on intellectual property rights and creativity, it is a 100-year-old-and-counting policy that now conquers further difficulties in the digital age.

The disruption is premature.

"'The Atlantic' recently estimated that it would take 76 work days to read all of the privacy policies you encounter in a year," senior Antonio Regalado said. "Everyone you give information to has their own privacy policy, and nobody is worrying about those. Facebook hasn't given people a reason to freak out yet, so they should probably stop worrying."

Earlier this week, Facebook created an open forum-like post on their page, "Facebook Site Governance." On this web page, users can comment and voice their opinions about propositions and changes involving the site's policies.

The new data policy officially took effect yesterday at 9 a.m. Facebook stopped accepting feedback on their posts in the afternoon.