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Security & privacy

Facebook fine print you need to know about

Does anyone really read the “Terms & Conditions?” They are always so lengthy and the legal jargon can be confusing. Plus, agreeing to them is normally the final step that separates you from your online mission. I try to at least skim them.

Luckily, Facebook tries to be upfront and transparent about their policies. But they may have a few rules you’ve never heard of. By agreeing to use Facebook, here are a few rules from their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that you’ve agreed to.

You must notify them within 48 hours if you change your phone number

Do you have your cellphone number listed on Facebook? If so, people who have your number can use it to look up your profile. It’s just one of the ways Facebook makes it easy to connect with people you know in real life.

But if that number changes, Facebook says you’re obligated to tell them. In section 6 of the statement (Mobile and other devices), item 2 says “In the event you change or deactivate your mobile telephone number, you will update your account information on Facebook within 48 hours to ensure that your messages are not sent to the person who acquires your old number.”

They can use any of your content for any reason

Whether it be your thoughts, family pictures, or cute videos, one of the main points of using any social media site is to share content with your friends and family. While you do own all of this content, so does Facebook. They can use any of this content for free for whatever reason at any time. But if you delete that content from the site or make it private then they promise not to use it.

In section 2 (Sharing Your Content and Information) item 1 says, “For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: 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 (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

You can only sue them in California

If you ever desire to take Facebook to court, that court has to be the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California or a state court located in San Mateo County. That’s the only place you can file a claim against the social media site.

In section 15 (Disputes) item 1 says, “You will resolve any claim, cause of action or dispute (claim) you have with us arising out of or relating to this Statement or Facebook exclusively in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California or a state court located in San Mateo County, and you agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of such courts for the purpose of litigating all such claims. The laws of the State of California will govern this Statement, as well as any claim that might arise between you and us, without regard to conflict of law provisions.”

Click here to read the entire Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

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