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Hi, are you on Facebook? Me too! Well not much of a coincidence that, right? Nowadays everybody uses social networking sites be it be Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Virtual storage is being preferred over physical storage thanks to free alternative such as Dropbox/ Sky Drive/Google Drive and TV has been replaced by Youtube /Vimeo/ Dailymotion.  I could go on but the point I am trying to make is that technology has become a part of our life and almost every time we use this technology we often unknowingly part with some of our essential rights such as PRIVACY. 
Well in this post we will analyse the contract i.e. EULA (End User License Agreement) of Facebook and tell you how the terms affect you.
Also comes free advice to see how you can get better of it!
So we should begin with Facebook’s Data Use Policy.  Now in the ‘Other websites and applications’ section under the ‘About social plugins’ section Facebook states
We receive data when you visit a site with a social plugin. We keep this data for a maximum of 90 days. After that, we remove your name and any other personally identifying information from the data, or combine it with other people's data in a way that it is no longer associated with you.
Whaat? Every site you visit which has a like/share/recommend/Facebook connect (login) etc. button is recorded by Facebook. I mean this is totally ridiculous! To some extent what I do on Facebook is Facebook’s business but snooping on my browsing activities even when I am not using Facebook is not only unethical but totally out of the line. The fix is either to surf internet only when you have logged out yourself of Facebook and cleared all cookies or install Disconnect Plugin from here (Chrome) or here (Firefox). All you need to do is install the plugin and Disconnect takes care of the rest blocking any request by Facebook/Google etc. to track your activities.
Next comes you being responsible for sharing your information with third party apps. Pretty obvious in my opinion.  My advice to you is open the Apps Settings and remove any unneeded or suspicious app. Also remove any junk apps like ‘Who is your Crush’ etc. most of these apps are just there for stealing your data. And it’s time to grow up maybe, you can’t realistically be told about how many years you have left, so please apps like how much are you going to live are complete trash.
 Also you have the option on this page to remove your profile from being indexed by Search Engines, do that if you don’t want your profile to come in search result over Google or Bing.
Next in line is Information we receive and how it is used where under the heading ‘Other information we receive about you’ Facebook states that
Sometimes we get data from our affiliates or our advertising partners, customers and other third parties that help us (or them) deliver ads, understand online activity, and generally make Facebook better. For example, an advertiser may tell us information about you (like how you responded to an ad on Facebook or on another site) in order to measure the effectiveness of - and improve the quality of - ads.
This basically means so every time you interact with an ad you will be targeted even more. Notice how when you visit an e-commerce site say Flipkart for buying an iPad, subsequent to that you come across ads selling iPad at a cheaper price. This is the same thing. The fix is to not interact with these ads. Even better would be to block these distracting ads altogether. (Learn to block these ads here).
Something interesting I came across was on Facebook Pages Terms which prohibits page administrator from inaccurately tagging content or encouraging users to inaccurately tag content (II D – Tagging). So next time a moron tags you to an idiotic image saying ‘friends are forever’ apart from removing the tag do remember to report the page if it asks people to tag people unnecessarily.
Next comes Cookies, pixels and other similar technologies where Facebook informs us that cookies amongst other things are used to deliver, understand and improve advertising. Not of some real help that, right?  Use some good Cookie Manager and remove cookies from time to time. Get Cookie manager for Chrome and Firefox.
Now  let’s start with Clause 2(1) of  Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities which under the heading ‘Sharing Your Content and Information’ states that
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.
Not much can be done here. Easy fix is that you change the privacy of any post (Hereinafter post includes comment/photo/video) you don’t want to be available to the world at large to ‘only me’ or ‘friends only’.
Clause 2(2) states that even after you delete your account Facebook may retain some of your post for a reasonable period of time in their backup.
Muddy waters begin from Clause 2(4) which gives Facebook the permission to use your name, profile picture, information etc.  in connection with commercial. So liking that Porn Star’s Page does not seem the best idea if you don’t want something like ‘John Doe and 17 other friends like XXX. Click to like this page’ to pop in your friends’/relatives’/siblings’ feed.
Things get even more interesting from Clause 2(5) onwards where Facebook can unilaterally change its terms and will notify them on its Facebook Site Governance page instead of individually notifying you like Google and your continued use of Facebook for 7 days after change in terms will amount to your acceptance to the new terms. So do like this page so that you are notified every time Facebook changes its policy not that you care.
Clause 2(6) provides for a Forum Selection Clause and states that all disputes are subject to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California or a state court located in San Mateo County and laws of State of California will govern the Statement. You need not worry much about this as Indian Courts are not much fan of such provisions and one could always invoke cases like Modi Entertainment Network v. W.S.G. Cricket PTE. Ltd. [(2003) 4 SCC 341] where it was held that “in an exceptional case for good and sufficient reasons, with a view to prevent injustice in circumstances such as which permit a contracting party to be relieved of the burden of the contract.” Not being able to go to US to file a lawsuit seems a sufficient reason enough apart from the fact that it takes away the jurisdiction of Indian courts something I doubt Indian judges would appreciate.
Clause 2(7) takes your consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Nothing much you could do in this regard and anyway it doesn’t matter much with NSA spying on you through Heartbleed (bug in OpenSSL encryption) since several years anyway.
To tell you more, Facebook is also fighting a legal battle in India, K.N. Govindacharya v. Union of India ,W.P. (C) NO.  3672/2012, Delhi High Court. The case has helped in getting grievance officer which you could contact here
Pro Tip - Facebook Mobile (Android) - Use Permission Manager and restrict Facebook App's unwanted permissions.
The author blogs regularly about technology for lawyers over here
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