We often think of social networking — and the internet in general — as free reign; our own space to do as we please. Many of us reconnect with friends, family, and colleagues via Twitter and Facebook. We rarely think twice about posting a photo of ourselves or our loved ones — after all who else but our closest friends care about our recent vacation pics? If you’re on Facebook, 3rd party advertisers do.
Monday, The Examiner gave a few examples where advertisers had taken Facebook user photos. In one instance, a man found a picture of his wife (that he posted to his FB profile) on an ad for “hot singles.” Needless to say, he wasn’t amused.
NOTE: See Facebook’s response to this at the end of our post – they’re saying the issue was not related to an advertiser but was an application.
Facebook has come under fire for privacy concerns before. In this instance, it’s an easy process to block advertisers from using photos you have added to Facebook — but one that you may not have heard about since it’s not been, pardon the pun, advertised.
* In Facebook, click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the log out link.
* Select PRIVACY, then MANAGE.
* Select NEWS FEEDS AND WALL.
* Now, select the tab that reads FACEBOOK ADS.
* There is a drop down box, select NO ONE.
Now breathe a sigh of relief (and delete all any incriminating photos). Rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t want your Mom seeing those photos, you probably don’t need to be posting them to FB. But, hey, it’s free reign, right?
Update: Facebook is saying this about the picture controversy:
Worried about privacy? Your photos are safe.
There have been misleading rumors recently about the use of your photos in ads. Don’t believe them. These rumors were related to third-party applications, and not ads shown by Facebook. Get the whole story at the Facebook Blog, or check out the Help Center.
There’s also no longer an option (that I can easily find) to remove all interaction with the ads.Whether this picture problem was all a rumor, rogue application or a figment of someone’s imagination the one thing that seems certain is that Facebook should give you one screen to opt your information from any commercial use whatsoever. It’s simply too confusing for the average user to understand – and control – where their personal information is (or isn’t) being used. -Wayne