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See Your Facebook Profile as a Pack of Orbit Gum at the Cost of All of Your, and Your Friends', Personal Data

In this wide, wild world of social media, companies are always trying to find a way to get into your treasure trove of personal information. I mean, it must be tantalizing knowing that all that information is sitting out there, but most of it — if you’re smart — is locked down. That’s why companies have been moving towards ad campaigns that use all your Facebook information to do something “really cool!” Orbit Gum, for instance, lets you turn your Facebook information into an abstract gum design on a digital pack of gum! Amazing right! Oh, and only requires that you hand over access to, you know, all your Facebook data! Yeah!

Okay, okay, but how does all of this work? Well, it’s simple really. Go to the Orbit Gum Facebook page and you’ll see some awesome examples of these awesome digital gum packs! See, what they do is take your information and use it to create a unique cyber gum package just for you! Here, they say it better than I do, from the FAQ:

The application uses an algorithm to map your Facebook data to a design. Think of this as an infographic on an Orbit pack. Each user’s design is unique!

Oh boy, they like exclamation points too! That’s not all though, folks. Orbit is aware that a cyber gum package is kind of lame, so they give you a chance to get a real one! If you can get enough people to vote for you (and create their own designs, of course) you can win $500 dollars and the chance to have your design on real pack of Orbit gum!

The catch? It’s all a ploy to take as much personal data from you as possible and then use it forever! I’ll admit that most of you would expect this, but in this case, it’s worse than normal. You see, by claiming to use your data as seeds for the algorithm that creates the design — something that they probably actually do — they are painstakingly trying to justify taking as much information from you as possible. They need to know your religious views to determine the size of that circle over there. Wait, religious views? What exactly do they want from you? Oh, not much.

Let me draw particular attention to:

  • Religious and political views
  • Posts with location
  • Relationship status
  • And the kicker, your friends’ profile info!

Alright, but this is all just fuel for the number cruncher, right? They’d never give this out or anything? No. Of course not. Just check the FAQ again:

No, other people will not have access to your data and will only see your completed design, including your first name, last initial, city, and state. You can learn about your own design during the pack generation process and cannot assess the specific data after you have registered your design for the contest.

Oh. Phew. But maybe I better check the full rules. Can’t hurt, right? All emphasis is mine, by the way.

Sponsor and its designees have the right to use any and all Entries, and any and all elements appearing in the Entry for future advertising, marketing, manufacture and/or sale, commercial, promotion and publicity in any manner and in any medium now known or hereafter devised throughout the world in perpetuity without compensation or notice to Entrant

But that must just refer to the graphics and designs, right?

Entrant hereby grants Sponsor and its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, licensees, designees and legal representatives (“Licensed Entities”) a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, broadcast, publicly perform, post, create derivative works from, and display any materials incorporated by Entrant into the Entry (if any) or submitted by Entrant (such as personal information, title and/or elements, including but not limited to name(s), biographical materials and all other graphic and/or textual material) (together with the Entry, the “Materials”), and/or any portions or excerpts thereof, in any manner, in whole or in part, in composite or distorted character or form or as otherwise changed, or reproductions thereof, in color or otherwise, an unlimited number of times on a worldwide basis, and to incorporate it into other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, including for editorial, commercial, promotional or marketing purposes (including posting on the Internet) or for any other purpose in any and all media throughout the world, whether now known or hereafter created, in each instance without additional review, notice, compensation, or approval from the entrant or any other party

In short, no. No one else will see any of your data. Unless of course, Orbit Gum shows it to them, something you gave them permission to do.

Now, it’s not like you don’t expect this to happen when you get involved in a promotion like this, and I don’t read Official Rules often, so maybe the whole bit about “technologies that haven’t been invented yet” is standard fare, but this is still kind of offensive. Yeah, you get to see your own Orbit Gum pack, but they own all of your personal information and can use it “throughout the world in perpetuity,” so that’s kind of a big bone you’re throwing them in exchange.

Bottom line is that you should never, ever engage in ad campaigns that require you to hook up your Facebook account because they’re all out for the rights to your personal information. All of them. All the time. Trust me on this one, you’re better off just closing your eyes, scribbling on a piece of paper and calling that an Orbit Gum package.

(h/t Mashable)

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