As reported over on the New York Times
The change sparked a furore among the site's members, many of whom saw the move as a grab for their personal data. While content posted to the site has always been available for use by the company, the conditions prior to the change had a provision for the deletion of messages and images which had been posted on a profile should a member decide to terminate their account.
After the change, no such provision was made – and additional terms were added which clearly stated that the company would retain rights to any hosted content even after an account had been terminated.
Facebook's Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has stated that the move was not malicious, but merely to prevent content which is shared between more than one account suddenly disappearing should a single user decide to leave the service. Posting to his blog last week, Zuckerberg stated that his company's rule that “people own their information and control who the share it with has remained constant
” and offering users “a lot of input in crafting these terms.
The revised terms of service – with a rather more carefully worded section on what happens to data posted by terminated accounts – is expected within the next few weeks.
Do you believe that Facebook had every reason to introduce a clause giving it rights to content that account holders might want deleting, or was the company being high-handed with its – unannounced – changes? Share your thoughts over in the forums