by Michael S. Malone, Pajamas Media


Photo Credit: Scott Beale Creative Commons

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The events of this week surrounding Facebook are a troubling glimpse of life with the Web of the future.

In case you missed the coverage, here’s a quick recap:  At the beginning of this week, the blog The Consumerist noticed that Facebook had quietly changed its ‘terms of service’ to its users.  It apparently was the first to notice this change, despite the fact that it occurred two weeks before.

In full-blown legalese, Facebook basically told its users that when they posted personal information to their Facebook pages (including photos, the music they were listening to at that moment or their favorite movies), Facebook owned that information forever and could use it in just about any manner the company wished.

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Facebook’s apparent secretiveness in making the switch suggested that it anticipated a backlash if word got out.

Photo Credit: Scott Beale (Creative Commons)