Dear Facebook, my terms and conditions have changed.
By accepting my connection to your servers, you agree to abide by my terms of service, presented below.
- You agree to only derive personal information from my personal site and provide an updated copy of the information you hold on me in real time using the digi-agreement protocol. You also agree not to store my personal information on your server.
- You agree to rent access to my personal data at the rate of £500 per annum. This payment will be in cash, or provided as free/discounted access to your services. This will be payable each month in advance to my nominated bank account.
- If by mutual digital agreement we both decide to use my name, likeness, image or brand in any advertisements on your site, you agree to pay me 25% of the advertising revenue derived from this placement. Payment will be made within 7 days of the advertisement having been shown. Delays in payment will be penalised at 5% per day.
- If by mutual digital agreement, we agree to pass any of my personal data to a third party, you will provide payment at the rate of £10 per day that this data is used, per 3rd party the data is provided to.
- You agree that I have ultimate control over the data you source from me and you agree not to modify the data without mutual digital consent.
- Any data that is processed, enhanced or modified by you shall be provided back to my digital agent immediately it has been processed and the ownership of this data belongs to me.
- You do not have permission to use my data in any other program, platform or company without my digital consent. Any breach of this condition will carry a $1M penalty, payable within 7 days of the breach.
- Failure to comply with any of these terms and conditions will result in a breach of this digital contract and will attract an immediate penalty of $1M.
It is unlikely that Facebook or any social media platform would agree to these terms. We however on a daily basis sign up to very one-sided terms from most of the platforms we use.
How is it that a company can demand things from us, using our owned property or IP and not allow us to negotiate a fair fee for the use of such?
Facebook and others will argue that they have invested billions of dollars in their networks. My argument though is that the billions of users (in Facebook’s case) that have made their network so valuable, have in doing so signed away any rights they may have to the ownership and value in their own data.
Buried in the Facebook terms and conditions there is an interesting example of how one-sided these “terms and conditions” are – especially under point 9:
9. About ads and other commercial content served or enhanced by Facebook
Our goal is to deliver advertising and other commercial or sponsored content that is valuable to our users and advertisers. In order to help us do that, you agree to the following:
You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content and information in connection with commercial, sponsored or related content (such as a brand you like), served or enhanced by us. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you. If you have selected a specific audience for your content or information, we will respect your choice when we use it.
We do not give your content or information to advertisers without your consent.
“You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content and information in connection with commercial, sponsored or related content (such as a brand you like), served or enhanced by us.”
NO Facebook – this is my IP, my likeness, my brand. Under my new TOS, you no longer have carte blanche to do what you like with my property, and I will demand compensation from you at £50 for every day that you use my likeness. You can rent my brand for a fair value exchange, but you can’t have it for whatever purpose you like. Who would overtly agree to this if they were signing a real contract before they walked into a physical store?
Why then is it ok to behave like this online?
It’s time for consumers to take back control of their own property.
It is unreasonable to expect FB to contract with us individually, so I am proposing a digital rights server that uses open standards to contract on a daily, or longer basis with Facebook (hence my digital agreement above) to RENT for money my IP, likeness and brand.
When I go on stage to present as the Actionable Futurist, I have signed a mutual contract that explains what I will do for my client, and in turn what they will do for me. It is a mutual agreement, not a one-sided, unreasonable contract that I have no say in at all.
Ditto employment contracts. When I joined a large well-known organisation some years ago, I was told I had to sign a non-compete agreement or I could not work there.
Only later on did I find out that other executives joining after me were not being asked to sign one, and a recent court case where the then CTO resigned, he shared that only 0.45% of all other employees had to sign a non-compete agreement (which by the way bars you from working pretty much anywhere in the industry for 12 months), with no additional compensation.
For this reason, I’ll never sign a non-compete again, unless it comes with compensation tied the number of months you can’t work somewhere else after you leave.
We as consumers need to push back on these companies that are literally using us on a daily basis.
We’ll see if they abide by MY TOC next time I connect to Facebook.com
Radical thinking I know, but it’s time to take back (digital) control of my life.
If platforms can force terms and conditions on us, what stops us from enforcing conditions back on them?
Who’s with me?