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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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  • Re:In other news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:22PM (#28822193)

    I'm sorry, but that's stupid. That's like saying that you deserve to have your information exploited and released in any way whatsoever for ANY website you use. Or, for that matter, for any ISP you use (since ISP terms of service often include the right for the ISP to use any content you transmit over their connections).

    Facebook is no worse than many other services and much better than some. Like other sites, they COULD full out abuse their users, but even if they don't have a "do no evil" mission statement, they do want to keep good-will of their user base or else everyone will move on to the next thing just like everyone moved on from MySpace.

    That said, Facebook has massive sketchy potential, but not anything particularly more than other sites like LinkedIn or Picassa, or Flickr or Slashdot (which for all we know could just decide one day to un-anonymize your every message you ever posted while logged in).

    Now, using facebook applications? THAT I would definitely agree with you on. The first thing you should do on Facebook is shut off all applications and hooks to applications.

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:33PM (#28822263)

    They do actually have a Privacy option, opted in by default, entitled "Appearance in Facebook Ads". I could forgive users for believing that this option, if set on, allowed them to, well, appear in Facebook Ads. The explanatory text isn't particularly clear, either:

    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 below.

    It sounds like they're using something from your profile in Facebook ads shown to your friends, and it certainly doesn't explicitly rule out using your photos when they have you "appear[] in your friends' Facebook Ads".

  • Why don't they say that, then? By wording it as blanket permission for "Appearance in Facebook Ads", it certainly carries an implication that you're giving them permission (opted in by default) to use your likeness in Facebook ads.

  • by edman007 ( 1097925 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @06:41PM (#28822325)

    Yea, grant Facebook and unlimited license, I would not consider this license to extend to facebooks affiliates/advertisers. The issue is that its not facebook using it, they gave your IP to advertisers, and the ToS does not appear to give facebook the right to sell the unlimited license to anyone they please, but IANAL, so what do i know.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @08:22PM (#28822963)

    I'm getting real tired of this attitude. 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, and because we want to put ourselves out there and make friends, rather than dying alone in some castle with all our toys like the boomers are right now, because they wanted their precious privacy. We actually want a gender and color-blind society, built on freedom and transparency -- and we're doing just that. Oh, the humanity! The only thing this generation regrets is that management is generally 40+ and thinks that because someone doesn't have their personal information out there, they're somehow better qualified. Which is about the only thing I hear people worrying about with their online profiles -- not whether their friends, or even their own mother, or pastor, or old high school teacher, finds out about those drunken photos. But the boomers, and their outdated notions of privacy and freedom, will die before us. This is why I'm glad people don't live forever... new ideas would never have a chance if we did.

  • by rs79 ( 71822 ) <> on Saturday July 25, 2009 @09:12PM (#28823287) Homepage []

    Here's where I found my face on an ad on slashdot in late may. Using liknesses for commercial purposes requires a model release and this is actionable. Anybody feel like doing a class action?

  • by Achromatic1978 ( 916097 ) <robert.chromablue@net> on Saturday July 25, 2009 @09:37PM (#28823407)
    Indeed. An unlimited license, a license the doesn't limit their ability to re-sell rights. Unlimited is a big word in a contract.
  • Re:Sense of humor? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:39PM (#28824059)

    What's worse are some of the reactions in discussions on facebook this week. There are a lot of idiots who comment that "who cares if they use my image for commercials or whatever?!".

    It's amazing how little the current generation of young people care about their brand, their imaging, their right to own their data and information, and being compensated for utilization of their likeness. After all, if it's worth it to the advertiser to use your information or likeness, then IT HAS VALUE and you should be compensated for it.

    I almost find the lack of concern for what was initially purported to be the actions happening more vile than the purported actions themselves.

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:48PM (#28824109)

    No, I'm the AC you're responding to and I'm actually in my 30s. I just don't happen to have the octogenarian "them damn kids - get off my lawn!" attitude that you apparently have. You clearly have a gripe with social networks *period*, just like a few decades ago people would have complained about kids "on that darned phone all the time".

    I'm not condoning the shitty practices they're clearly either piloting or considering, but to blame potentially shitty business or marketing or privacy practices of a business on the users of the social network or saying they "deserve it" is just ridiculous. It kind of sounds just a step away from saying how all those young people having sex deserve to get lots of STDs and you can't wait until they do... just because you're angry some people are having lots of great sex.

    Now, for idiots who do actually post questionable pictures of themselves online (you know the type - the morons who often find themselves unemployed because someone saw their half naked pot smoking beer bonging pics from last weekend online)... that's fine. But that really has little to do with the other 98% of people and the social networks they frequent.

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Saturday July 25, 2009 @11:53PM (#28824143)

    I've heard a lot of people suggest recently that the next couple of generations (those who are perhaps in their teens today) will look toward internet results and social networking hits on an applicant or social acquaintance or potential date with much less accusation. That they will give the benefit of the doubt to people they deal with because they'll take into account that anyone can impersonate you online, say things about you online, and that even legitimate things that are your responsibility may have been done when you were young and crazy. Further, because almost everyone will have some residual guilt from things *THEY* did online at one time or another, they'll extend a courtesy to everyone else. After all, if you catch them on something now, they'll catch you on something tomorrow. You look past it and they'll look past yours.

    HOWEVER... this doesn't work so well today, does it? In fact, those with something to hide are traditionally THE MOST accusing and relentless in attacking others for the same things. Think of all the raging homophobic bigots that turn out to be in the closet doing coke off the asses of young men in the back of a night club?

  • by KarlIsNotMyName ( 1529477 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @02:08AM (#28824737)
    Just because you feel like speaking for an entire generation, I felt I had to reply, as I assume I'm the right age for that generation.

    And I still have a sense of privacy (not so much of freedom because of all the rules and laws that don't make any sense, but that's a different topic). Not that it's any trouble having privacy online, just don't give out your info. I've probably got 20 different names I go by online, none of them close to my real name, or eachother. Which actually lets me bring up personal stuff when I feel it's relevant, without creating a public profile of myself online.

    I don't have a need to have dirt on anyone, or for anyone to have dirt on me, to be nice with people, though. That's on a person by person basis, nice until proven jerk. Unfortunately there are a lot of jerks.
  • by bitrex ( 859228 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @02:24AM (#28824807)

    Every generation believes that it knows better than the previous generation, and that certain social institutions are the way that they are simply because no one has ever tried anything different. History of course tells a different story, but those uncomfortable facts are conveniently overlooked. Would a society which is informationally "transparent" really lead to a society which is more polite? As an anecdotal experience, I had a violent childhood where the number of people whom I could trust could be counted on one hand with fingers to spare. Now, did I have "dirt" on the people and groups whom I was in conflict with? Of course I did - anyone who in conflicts for long enough gets to know their enemy. Did it matter that I did? Not a whit - because it was in the interests of the powers that be to ignore that any conflict was taking place. Information about me was easy ammunition, but I could have shouted on the streetcorner all day about the misdeeds of people I was dealing with and it wouldn't have mattered a whit. Information is only useful when you have the power to act on it, and in a "transparent society" it will me made damn sure that the capability to actually act on the wealth of information available is designated only to the select few. The powerful will always find a way to exploit the weak and there is absolutely no way around it. It's genetic, it's human, it's who we are.

    "Gender neutral" and "color blind" are just a new set of weapon-words that play their part in the struggle of group against group - who would really want such a society if there weren't some advantage in it for them? A society which is totally transparent and has no refuge for one's individual experiences, thoughts, and actions may be a useful vehicle for those attempting to obtain this "gender and color-blind society" (to their own advantage, as always) but it is not a society built upon freedom, it is the antithesis of a free society.

  • by TerranFury ( 726743 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @03:08AM (#28824991)

    Indeed. Don't click the link in grandparent's post! Morbid curiosity inspired me to do so, and I regret it, as for the first time in a very long while a website did things which made me seriously reconsider Firefox's security. I should have heeded AC's warning -- or at least disabled Javascript.

    For instance, somehow this website even manages to get Firefox to spawn Internet Explorer windows, and Windows mail (to check some newsgroup). Does Firefox have some really stupid URL handlers enabled by default? I had been reasonably sure I'd disabled this kind of crap in about:config (doublechecks... yeah, looks ok...). If that's true then Firefox out of the box is only as secure as the worst application it uses to handle any kind of URL. And as Internet Explorer now seems to be one of them, that would make Firefox no more secure than Internet Explorer. A frightening thought! So what's going on?

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @03:25AM (#28825065) Homepage
    Actually, a gender and color-blind society, built on freedom and transparency would be one of the worst possible things to happen. Would Obama have been elected if the press hadn't focused on his race?

    "The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false."
    -- Paul Johnson

  • by rs79 ( 71822 ) <> on Sunday July 26, 2009 @04:14AM (#28825239) Homepage

    Interesting guess but I don't think so. One of the other 4 poeple is somebody I know, the other two I'd never seen before. That had to have come from the adserver. I'm guessing they all did.

    I know what I agreed to when I clicked the thinger in facebook. You show me where is says personal likeness in commercial conduct is authorized.

    Oh yeah, Jenine is Nat Torkington's wife. She's pissed. And she's not somebody you want pissed at you.

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.