Heads Up: Facebook Will Start Using Your Photo in Ads

Remember a short while ago that Facebook got in hot water for using people’s names and profile photos in “Sponsored Stories” advertising? While that lawsuit is still going on, Facebook has updated their site policy and, starting September 5, by using Facebook, you are giving them permission to use your image in ads again.  There is sadly no way to opt-out of this. What can you do about it?

First, give Facebook a piece of your mind about their new policy.  You can submit feedback to Facebook on their site.  However, there is no guarantee that Facebook will actually listen to their users on this topic.

Is there anything else that can be done?  This advertising is based on your “Likes”.  For example, say you “Liked” a new frozen yogurt shop on Facebook.  Facebook can use your profile image when it advertises the yogurt shop to your friends.

So, you could clear out all of your “Likes” to help minimize your use in advertising.

  1. Go to your Facebook Timeline and click the “Activity Log” button on the right-side of the screen.
  2. On the left-side column, click the “Likes” section.
  3. Click “Pages and Interests” immediately below the section you just clicked.  You should see a page of everything you’ve “Liked” in the past.
  4. Scroll through the list to locate any businesses you don’t want your name associated with if they advertise on Facebook.  To remove them, click the pencil icon on the right-side and select “Unlike”.

You also have the option of changing your profile picture, but your name would still be used in the advertising.  If you’re completely fed up with Facebook, you always have the option of closing your account entirely.

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