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Facebook Lets Advertisers Use Pictures Without Permission 260

Krokz sends in an LA Times piece that begins "A warning is bouncing through cyberspace today, landing on the Facebook statuses of many of the social networking site's users. The message: 'Facebook has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures without your permission.' It continues with a prescription of how you can protect your photos." The attention-grabbing incident in this furor involved a married woman, whose photo appeared in an ad for a dating service that was presented to her husband to view. Fortunately, both husband and wife had a sense of humor about it.
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Facebook Lets Advertisers Use Pictures Without Permission

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  • The Evil Plot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Akira Kogami ( 1566305 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:03PM (#28822005)
    It seems at this point like Facebook's plan was to make itself an indispensable part of millions of people's lives and then abuse them like this because they know most users still won't quit.
  • In other news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PBoyUK ( 1591865 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:03PM (#28822009)
    Man who continually stands in the middle of the road is hit by a car. Seriously, what are these people expecting when they sign up to a site like Facebook?
  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:04PM (#28822015)
    mark my words, the current generation who post anything and everything on myspace and facebook will end up regretting it. I have to wonder what will happen when facebook goes into decline and cash dries up, and they start selling pictures to porn sites. what if you go for a job and they recognise you from a site you have nothing to do with called

    unless facebook has you sign a proper model release form, i can't see how this kind of use is going to hold up.

  • by ghostis ( 165022 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:12PM (#28822085) Homepage

    The parent comment - not mine ;-)

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:18PM (#28822161)

    What Mark Zuckerberg really means is:

    We have banned the third party applications responsible for exploiting the privacy of our userbase, because we reserve the right to exploit their privacy OURSELVES".

    After all, there IS an option for this in the user settings, so its eems pretty clear that they either already do something similar or intend to in the future. The response from facebook is nothing more than Apple kicking an application out of their iphone app store, because they want to introduce their own version of it and make the money for themselves.

  • by tetrahedrassface ( 675645 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:22PM (#28822189) Journal
    Sometimes the fine print has things in there that you need to watch for. I use Facebook. I like Facebook. It lets me keep up with friends who don't happen to be geeks and use it as their primary communication tool. What I don't like is not having an option on my images I upload to choose a Creative Commons license. I wish I could do that, although the TOS pretty much says once you upload to FaceBook they own it. And that in itself is pretty damn restrictive and maybe not really legal.

    So please Facebook, just put all the creative commons license choices on there, and the problem is solved

  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:33PM (#28822275) Journal

    As usual with Facebook controversies, you can very easily opt out of this and never have your photo used by an advertiser.

    You can't just assume you have permission - any contract like this must be opt in.

    And of course, Facebook is not mandatory, it's something that you choose to be part of.

    What if the terms are changed retroactively, to photos you already uploaded?

    What if you're not on Facebook and someone uploads a photo of you, that then gets used in an advert?

    And of course, why in hell do so many people post illegal or embarrassing items to a fairly public and insecure site?

    Off-topic. There are plenty of photos I might not mind being visible to a restricted set of people (Facebook photos don't have to be "public" FYI), but would mind being in an advertising campaign. In fact, even if I was okay with a photo being entirely public, doesn't mean I want it in an advertising campaign.

    (This assumes that the story is true - if it isn't, then there's nothing to worry over anyway.)

  • by limonadito ( 969409 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:34PM (#28822279)

    what if you go for a job and they recognise you from a site you have nothing to do with called

    If they recognize me from I'm not sure I'd want to work for them...or would that make a very interesting workplace?

  • by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:50PM (#28822385)
    Okay. This is "better" in the sense that it is not Facebook itself exploiting user pictures. But it's still bothersome on some level. In particular it's bothersome that Facebook's default privacy rules make this possible. It seems that enabling an application gives that application near-limitless access to a person's account. It's all well and good that Facebook's policies forbid this, and that they've retroactively done something about it. But why was the access there in the first place?

    I do think users need to take some responsibility. They should be more careful about the text and photos they upload to some company's servers, and the applications they enable. But still it seems that Facebook is way too permissive with privacy and security settings, and that they are continually pushing the boundaries of what's acceptable with respect to advertising. For instance, why is it that when you go: SETTINGS > PRIVACY SETTINGS > NEWS FEEDS AND WALL, the "Appearance in Facebook Ads" is by default enabled. You need to manually turn it off. Yes it's up to users to manage their privacy settings, but having users continually being opted-in to these kinds of things (without any particular announcement, that I'm aware of) smacks of "let's see what we can get away with--and apologize only if we have to...".
  • by a whoabot ( 706122 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:50PM (#28822393)

    "Actually, facebook modified their terms recently, such that their rights to materials you upload expire if you choose to terminate your facebook account. I agree that it's still not good to grant them that right at all, even if it's not forever though."

    Not exactly []:

    "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"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account (except to the extent your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it)."

    Of whom does "others" consist? I don't know.

  • Re:Sense of humor? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flowsnake ( 1051494 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @07:01PM (#28822491)
    What if someone else posts a picture in which you are present? Odds are that you have been to a family or social gathering at which someone has a camera, and has later uploaded the photographs. Avoid Facebook all you like, but if friends and family use it you are likely to end up on there whether you like it or not.
  • Re:Sense of humor? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @07:35PM (#28822703) Homepage

    > What if someone else posts a picture in which you are present?

    What if the New York Times puts a photo with you in it on their front page? The photographer owns the copyright.

  • Re:Sense of humor? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by clang_jangle ( 975789 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @07:35PM (#28822707) Journal
    Actually the stupid approach is the one so many have taken -- posting all their personal photos and data online. I have never and will never do such a thing. And since most of my family and all of my friends have more sense than to do such a thing, I have no real cause to be concerned.
  • Re:Big deal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeuroKoan ( 12458 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @08:38PM (#28823083) Homepage Journal

    Before you start googling around, remember that once you see it, you can't unsee it.

  • Re:In other news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PBoyUK ( 1591865 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @08:42PM (#28823115)
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's an acceptable thing, but people really don't have much to complain about when they upload so many personally identifiable details about themselves that are so publicly available. It'd be like complaining about getting a virus from some warez site. No, the virus should not have been there, but you have to accept the risk that comes with what you do. The average facebook clone user I know puts absolutely zero thought into how to protect their privacy, and I'll bet a lot of them are the same way.
  • by prichardson ( 603676 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @09:41PM (#28823425) Journal

    Wow.. way to rake in the Karma there :-P.

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @09:47PM (#28823463)

    Mine was opted-in by default. I never changed it. I didn't even know it existed. And I don't use applications so none of those changed it.

  • Re:Sense of humor? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @09:48PM (#28823469) Homepage

    The biggest reason that facebook et al need to be pursued on this, is not just the theft of image but, far more importantly the theft of your honesty and integrity. By using your image, they are implying that you approve of and recommend the product that your image is attached to. It is very much a theft of who you are. So not a copyright infringement but a fraudulent misrepresentation, it really is one of the worst 'marketing' abuses I have ever come across.

    That facebook would stoop this low is a real warning to users or more accurately as it turns out, the used of facebook, time to shift locations, things are bound to get worse as try push to monetise - 'you'.

  • Honey? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @10:02PM (#28823541)

    "What is your photo doing on an on-line dating site?"

    "Honey. What ate you doing looking through on-line dating sites?"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 25, 2009 @10:11PM (#28823589)

    This seems somewhat generous... People posting pictures online may know what they're doing, insofar as they don't care that others know they were at a party last weekend, or whatever else. But precious few are posting with the active intent of "creating a transparent society..."

  • by zuperduperman ( 1206922 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @10:12PM (#28823595)

    You know what is sad? It's not going to end like that. It's going to end instead with so many high profile people getting burned (read: sons and daughters of politicians) that they will use it as propaganda to introduce laws to control / regulate / filter / disable the internet as we know it today. You'll have to be licensed to run a web site. Compulsory training. Mandatory insurance. Complex data security and logging laws that make it so burdensome to operate a simple web site that it will retreat to being something only possible for big corporations and beauracracies to do. You can already see it starting in the EU but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:55PM (#28824153)

    You see advertisements? Why aren't you using adblock like the rest of us?

    Until this whole ordeal, I didn't even realize Facebook *had* ads.

  • by blhack ( 921171 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @11:04AM (#28827077)

    [quote]My generation isn't stupid. They know what they're doing -- they're creating a transparent society where we can all be a bit more polite to one another because everyone has dirt on everyone else[/quote]


    Your (mine too) generatrion isn't STUPID, they're ignorant. They literally do not understand that when they upload their photos to their "private" profile, there is nothing to prevent me, or you, or anybody else from writing a perl scrip that walks through all of my "friends" downloading all of their photos, and saving them to my computer for some sort of future use.

    Getting dirt on everybody so that there is dirt on *nobody*? Lets over-look how stupid this is for a second, and pretend just for the sake of argument that that is even possible. Not everybody uses facebook. So there is not dirt on *everybody*. What happens when the fox news of 30 years from now is looking up dirt on whatever person is running for president at that time? Do you think they're going to ignore the photos that that guy or girl's friends posted of them doing a beer bong at a party 30 years ago that they didn't know about?

    The people who chose NOT to ues facebook, or whatever social network will pop up in the next couple of years to replace it, are going to have a considerable advantage over those who used it.

    No. They're going to absolutely and completely rip them to shreds. Look at how some web forums like 4chan have used the leverage that they can gain from places like facebook to blackmail people into doing what they want? This IS only going to get worse.

    The ubiquity of cameras is, and should be, frightening. Any "advice" to the contrary should be taken as borderline malicious.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dudpixel ( 1429789 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @11:51PM (#28832885)

    I believe the defaults should be set to the most private setting, and allow users to SHARE their stuff. Facebook does it the other way round, they say all your stuff is public unless you specifically disallow it. How is that fair? Its an open abuse of people's right to privacy, and for the (hopefully brief) time between the change and when the user realises and updates their privacy settings, facebook has had a field day with your personal details.

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