Is “yes” to Instagram a “no” to Facebook privacy?

Source: MSNBC Technology [Helen A.S. Popkin]

People are so steamed up about Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram that they are vowing to purge their smartphones of the old-timey photo sharing app.

“Facebook,” “Instagram,” and “uninstall” were the three words littering Twitter — the place where everyone posts their Instagram images — soon after news of the deal broke on Monday. 

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of FB, touted the many benefits of the acquisition. But less information was forthcoming about how location privacy would be handled (and by less I mean none).

Read the complete article about Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and what it means for FB user privacy.

Read the announcement posted by Instagram.

Has Facebook secured the right to exclusive use of “Book” thru its TOU?

Source: Lexology.com

Facebook login page

While FB may never secure a trademark on the word “book”, it appears to be attempting to secure its market position through its terms of use.

“Facebook has previously filed over 80 trademark applications on variations of its name and other terms such as “POKE”, “WALL” and “LIKE”. Facebook now seems to be attempting to claim some level of ownership/protection over the word “book” as well.

In a recent revision to Facebook’s “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” which is the agreement all users must accept when accessing Facebook, language was inserted which states (emphasis added) “[y]ou will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book and Wall), or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission.”

Read the full article about Facebook’s trademark claims to “book”

Post-Mortem Rights in Social Networking? Is Your Facebook Page Part of Your Estate

I recently saw this issue discussed on Tamron Hall’s MSNBC Show, News Nation [3/19/2012]. Hall interviewed Karen Williams, mother of a deceased teen who spent two years battling Facebook for access to her son’s FB page.

“I wanted full and unobstructed access, and they balked at that,” said Williams, recalling her son’s death in 2005. “It was heartbreaking. I was a parent grasping at straws to get anything I could get.” [Source: MICHAEL AVOK, Associated Press]

It raises an interesting legal question. Can contributions (literary, artistic and otherwise) to a social networking environment become the property of your survivors when you die? Are the contributions considered a “digital estate”?

At least that is the question theoretically. But other legal issues must be considered as well; namely contract law under a social networking site’s terms of use and privacy policy (which users agree to at sign up) and privacy concerns of the networked community.

Now lawmakers and attorneys in at least two states are considering proposals that would require Facebook and other social networks to grant access to loved ones when a family member dies, essentially making the site contents part of a person’s digital estate.

Read the full article about Karen Williams and access to her son’s Facebook account and let me know what you think.

What do you think?