If you recently came across a viral Facebook privacy notice that mentioned copyrights of your content, photos and videos, you should be forewarned that this notice is yet another Facebook scam. Facebook recently updated their privacy guidelines and also allowed users to comment on these changes for the first time. Unfortunately, this has led to the spread of this viral scam which many people have already fallen for.
The following viral message reaches Facebook users and encourages them to copy and paste the text on their wall so that their content ‘can be placed under copyright laws’. It is further stated that if the message is not posted on the wall at least once, all the photos and information contained in the user profile can be used by Facebook and other parties. Facebook scams like this have been reported in the past and requires users to be vigilant even if they have an updated version of the best anti-spam software.
The primary text of the post is as follows:
In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!
We would like to warn Facebook users here that this message is definitely a fake. The fact is that all content stored on Facebook can be used by the social network, subject to the terms and conditions listed by them in their privacy guidelines. This permission is granted to Facebook the minute an account is created with them. The only way to alter how photos and videos are shared by others is through the privacy settings. Such information will not be safeguarded if this message is posted by a user on his/her wall. Facebook is a breeding ground for social engineering tricks like this as we recently discussed in the Facebook Like Scam post.
Our users should be aware that copyrights cannot be gained in this manner and this entire message is a scam. It is not possible to protect Facebook data with a simple wall post. According to legal experts, “Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their Facebook accounts nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls”.
Facebook scams are a common way to fool users into sharing dubious posts that immediately attract attention. Attackers commonly use such posts to spread the reach of their scams and users must be aware and forewarned about their effects. Facebook security is crucial because there is a large amount of personal data stored over the social network that can be misused by attackers in innovative ways.