I like facebook but I dislike the violations that occur there all the time even if I might believe this statement: "We didn't do it on purpose,".
After quietly on February 4th '09 Facebook updated it’s terms of service to grant itself an unending and irrevocable license to use all content uploaded despite the media scandal that followed, Facebook continues to raise concerns related to the privacy of its users' personal data and more recently (starting on October 1st, 2010) they strike again with the "Download in High Resolution" link/button available to anyone viewing an image.
Though the final image still remains small, there's a link below-right to "Download in High Resolution" for any users to save the image at the higher resolution (and no options to prevent it except for deleting the image). I'm sure no one likes or needs this as I would prefer the images to be displayed in High Res (as promised) and to be protected from "save image as" all together like on a much better site for images sharing as flickr is. Not a perfect site either but far better in this department.
The terms updated on February 4th '09 are still claiming the rights as follows:
"For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos ("IP content"), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook ("IP License")."
The images recently uploaded are available for download at the high resolution with this "Download in High Resolution" link/button with no warning about it or any options at the privacy settings page. Like in the other cases Facebook steps all over our rights and probably soon this type of behavior will have to change or else.
I've been under the mistaken impression that Facebook has all along been storing an original-resolution copy of each image it receives, and was just not making it available. That isn't the case. In fact, for most photos, Facebook's servers never even see the original image. Its uploading tool first compresses each picture file on our computer, to shorten transmission time.
Also is good to know that the option of uploading at high resolution is not only unnecessary or against your rights (no options to choose who you share it with or if you do or not) but also misleading for everyone. The "high resolution" image that you get is not actually the original one so you (if you would think to opt for this for storage purposes) will and up with a compressed file (lot less quality) just at the same pixels (size) but no larger then 2048 pixels.
So no matter how you look at this "feature" you can't like it. or not as it is today.
Read more interesting stuff about facebook here.