In the last couple of days, I’ve seen legal declarations in my Facebook newsfeed about how the social media network can allegedly use your personal data. Some of the language posted includes this:

… I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents …

It goes on to cite some legal statutes and encourages everyone to repost the update for his or her own personal protection. I can tell you right now that posting that status update not only is unnecessary but also doesn’t really give you a legal leg to stand on, either. Here are the highlights of Facebook’s new privacy-policy changes:

Failed Democracy

Did you know (or care) that beginning in 2009, Facebook allowed users to vote on its privacy policy? However, less than 30 percent of the 1 billion folks on the network provided feedback on privacy changes. So now updates will be decided by the powers that be and no one else.

Targeted Ads

Facebook is turning up the notch on the use of your personal information to sell you stuff, now sharing that info with affiliates of the company. So all of those “Likes” and mentions of different brands on your page will be used to target you for ads.

Info Sharing

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Once you put something out on the Internet, it’s there forever. Any friend you’ve tagged in a photo now has access to that photo, meaning that they can download it and save it forever. Also, any apps you use on Facebook may retain personal information about you as well — even after you delete the app. Here was another little tidbit I found on page 6 in the new privacy updates (pdf):

When you hide things on your timeline, like posts or connections, it means those things will not appear on your timeline. But, remember, anyone in the audience of those posts or who can see a connection may still see it elsewhere, like on someone else’s timeline or in search results.

You can read the full text of Facebook’s data use policy here. But just know that the only way to truly keep your personal information private it not to put it out there in the first place.