Facebook Ads May Use Your Picture

Not funny Facebook ad
Image by Titanas via Flickr

So I was reading through my newsfeed on Facebook and lo and behold, there was an old high school friend that showed up in the news feed. He lives in Germany so I don’t get to speak to him as often as I like, so I read his blurb that was showing up in my feed and what do I find? Something that really bugs me from a standpoint of transparency and privacy:

FACEBOOK has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures WITHOUT your permission. Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the Log out link. Select Privacy. Then select NEWSFEEDS and WALL. Next select the tab that reads FACEBOOK ADS. There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Then SAVE your changes. (REPOST to let your friends know!)

Go figure. FB is using your picture with ads and you never knew it? Not very cool. By default, it’s actually on so that your picture could show up in the advertisement to your friends (which means that your friends might think you use XYZ service).

Basically in a more ordered format, here’s how to turn it off:

  1. Go to the Settings drop down and select Privacy Settings.
  2. Select NewsFeeds and Wall
  3. There are two tabs, the right one is Facebook Ads. Select that one.
  4. The drop down box in the middle has either Your Friends (default) or No One as the choices. Select No One.
  5. Save the changes.

What really bothers me here is that by default, we opted into it than not. Usually, you want such things to be opt-ins, not determinations for the users. I don’t believe this is a serious enough offense by FB for them to lose users over, but it definitely forms a trust issue.

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