There are various implications to this, and I will endeavour to deal with the intricate issues as simply as possible.
The following one should be of concern to the “creatives” on Facebook who post their originally created work. It states “By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide licence (with the right to sub-licence) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sub-licences of the foregoing”. As much as that is a very long sentence, it should concern you seeing words like licence and sub-licence. Basically this means that you, as the copyright owner, give Facebook the consent to use your work, change it, and even use it for commercial gain. That is food for thought. You can remove the content, but Facebook will retain archived copies of your User Content.
This is probably the most crucial aspect of Facebook to many hence some Users make their profiles inaccessible to people who are not in their networks. Others don’t use their real names or even their pictures. “By using Facebook, you are consenting to have your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States”. You should know that at the outset. “Your name, network names, and profile thumbnail will be available in search results across the Facebook network and those limited pieces of information may be made available to third party search engines”.
Not so long ago I was involved in a litigation matter where we could not locate the defendant in order to serve her with our summons. Even the tracer we appointed could not locate her. Finally I decided to ‘google’ her name. Perhaps I finished off with the step I should have started with, but nonetheless her name came up under a social network for professionals, LinkedIn. From there I gathered her place of employment, and called to confirm if it was the same person I was looking for. Needless to say I have obtained judgment against her now.
Now if the following does not send shivers down your spine nothing will. “We share your information with third parties only in limited circumstances where we believe such sharing is 1) reasonably necessary to offer the service, 2) legally required or, 3) permitted by you.” Notice how vague the first point is. What is “reasonably necessary to offer the service”? I don’t know. I understand the “legally required” element. America post 911 saw the introduction of a piece of legislation called the USA Patriot Act of 2001, which is an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act. Do yourself a favour and check this Act out because it does not only impact on citizens and residents of the United States. Amongst many other things, this Act allows the US government to intercept communications, whether they are telephonic, electronic or written mail, where national security is at stake. The internet is known or suspected to be infested with people using it as a platform to plan their mischievous deeds. From sex offenders to terrorists. My opinion is that in instances where such acts are suspected US Authorities can obtain court orders and subpoenas ordering Facebook to disclose certain confidential information of its Users. Do not make the mistake of limiting this to the most serious of acts such as I have mentioned because the post 911 era has seen even the most petty acts being brought under suspicion.
The more we live apart and live different lifestyles, the more we remain the same. The more things change the more they remain the same. Technology is both a divider and a unifying tool for different people from different parts of the world. However this comes at a high price, a price that one needs to pay attention to because the devil is in the detail.