Wednesday 28 January 2015

Irish Facebook members duped by hoax ‘privacy notice’ chain letter

Published 02/10/2012 | 12:19

Facebook flotation...File photo dated 17/01/08 of the facebook icon displayed on a laptop as shares are being offered to the public for 38 US dollars (£24) in one of the biggest ever US stock flotations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday May 18, 2012. See PA story CITY Facebook. Photo credit should read: Martin Keene/PA Wire...A

A "CHAIN letter" is spreading on Irish people's Facebook accounts by duping members into believing that posting it on their profile will protect their privacy.

The “privacy notice” has been widely shared on Facebook this week in Ireland, but has previously been confirmed as a hoax with no legal status by experts in both the US and UK.

It falsely claims that the firm’s stock market flotation earlier this year affects users’ rights.

“Facebook is now a publicly traded entity,” the chain letter says.

“Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site.

“It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version.”

It also claims that unless members copy and paste the notice onto their profile, their Facebook activity may be monitored by the United States government.

Security experts confirmed that posting the notice would have no impact on the ways Facebook and government agencies are allowed to use members’ content.

"Unfortunately taking control of your online identity is not as simple as making a declaration on your Facebook wall," said Chester Wisniewski of Sophos, a British security firm.

“If you are uncomfortable with Facebook monetizing your content or making your content available to the US government you either need to avoid posting the content to Facebook, or more carefully control your privacy settings."

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