Terms of Service don’t matter

Because there is only one decision that needs to be made when dealing with companies and websites, I never look at the Terms of Service or privacy policy of any company that has them.

It doesn’t matter what the terms say. The only thing that matters is if I need or want to use the website or the services. I cannot change the policies. Companies are not democracies that allow input beyond where you spend your money.

You should also note that sometimes companies put things in their Terms of Use that are not legal, but until they are challenged in court, they can stay in the policy and keep people from filing complaints.

When you buy Microsoft Office, they give you the Terms of Service. If you do not agree to them, your only choice is to not use the software. Essentially, they are forcing you to accept the terms whether or not you agree with them.

Public outcry has changed some of the social media policies, but much like the government or an oil conglomerate, these companies continue to find ways around what the public actually wants.

If a company’s policies can influence your decision to use or not use a social media site or another service that has policies that it feels a need to send to you (like a credit card), then you should read the Terms of Service. However, if you are required to use the service, there is no need to clutter up your mind.

The only real thing you can do is never publish anything that means something to you and do not give out information or share photos that you do not want the whole world to see.

So while the person owns all of the information that they post in Facebook (FB), FB will aggregate that information and share it without any personal identifiers attached to it.

Your information security is on your own shoulders. FB provides plenty of tips on how to keep your data safe. When they had a data breach in the past, they have notified affected users by email.

Facebook Data Use Policy

“We also put together data from the information we already have about you and your friends.”

“We only provide data to our advertising partners or customers after we have removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it, or have combined it with other people’s data in a way that it is no longer associated with you.”

“We use the information we receive about you in connection with the services and features we provide to you and other users like your friends, our partners, the advertisers that purchase ads on the site, and the developers that build the games, applications, and websites you use. For example, in addition to helping people see and find things that you do and share, we may use the information we receive about you:

  • as part of our efforts to keep Facebook products, services and integrations safe and secure;
  • to protect Facebook’s or others’ rights or property;
  • to provide you with location features and services, like telling you and your friends when something is going on nearby;
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of ads you and others see, including to deliver relevant ads to you;
  • to make suggestions to you and other users on Facebook, such as: suggesting that your friend use our contact importer because you found friends using it, suggesting that another user add you as a friend because the user imported the same email address as you did, or suggesting that your friend tag you in a picture they have uploaded with you in it; and
  • for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.”

“…can’t make guarantees about any part of our services or products.”

Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

“You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook.”

Use at your own risk.

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