Facebook Advertising With Your Pictures (+ How to Opt Out)

A recent post here discussed emerging technologies that can be used for advertising on the go- and the threat that they pose to individual privacy. It seems a similar case is now found in online social network sites; places where users volunteer personal information as they interact with their friends. As Daniele mentioned on twitter, a recent TechCrunch article reports on how Facebook now wants to move user information from the private to the public domain (in order to compete with Twitter?)

One of the small steps in doing so involves using your photos to advertise products to your friends:

Facebook occasionally pairs advertisements with relevant social actions from a user’s friends to create Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads make advertisements more interesting and more tailored to you and your friends. These respect all privacy rules. You may opt out of appearing in your friends’ Facebook Ads [..].

Interestingly, until I saw some facebook status updates like this one below, I had no idea:

ATTENTION! FACEBOOK has agreed to let 3rd party advertisers use YOUR posted pictures WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION! To prevent this: Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the Log out link, select PRIVACY,then select NEWS FEEDS & WALL next select the tab that reads FACE BOOK ADS, there is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Then, SAVE your changes. ( RE-POST to let your friends know!)

I’m curious to see what kind of photos will appear, and if facebook measures any change in click-through rates with this feature. However, one of the points this seems to make is that a central aspect of privacy is not only giving users control over the flow of their information, but telling them where it may flow in the first place.

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