The ever-looming specter of death is bad enough—but imagine Facebook not being able to monetize your data after you've kicked the bucket? That's a real tragedy—so now, Facebook is going to make sure the things you've accidentally exposed to the internet will remain that way, forever.
If someone dies, their family can set that person's profile to a "memorial" mode, which ostensibly allows it to remain a place of tribute and remembrance. Only your friends could look at you after you were dead. This is sort of eerie on its own, maybe, but if it helps people cope with someone's death, then super.
Before today, strangers couldn't look at photos and whatnot of dead people in memorial mode, because, WHY?, and THAT'S VERY, VERY CREEPY. But now Facebook is changing the rules, and what you post today can still be data-mined in eternity:
Up to now, when a person's account was memorialized, we restricted its visibility to friends-only. This meant that people could no longer see the account or any of its content unless they were Facebook friends with the person who passed away. Starting today, we will maintain the visibility of a person's content as-is. This will allow people to see memorialized profiles in a manner consistent with the deceased person's expectations of privacy. We are respecting the choices a person made in life while giving their extended community of family and friends ongoing visibility to the same content they could always see.
What it sounds like: Let's respect the wishes of the dead.
What it actually is: Let's take advantage of the fact that our privacy settings are still hugely inconsistent and confusing. No one can whine about that when they're dead!
So if you're planning on getting hit by a drunk driver or something tomorrow, make sure you meticulously go through the last decade or so of Facebook photos, posts, statuses, notes, albums, and any other interaction you've had on the site. You don't want that keg stand profile picture to be the only proof you existed, right?
And Facebook, we know you want your paws on all of our stuff, our very essence. You're not going to change. That's the price we pay for using Facebook. But don't pretend you're doing it because you care about our souls.