Facebook Using Your Photos for Ads Without Consent? That’s Still A False Rumor

There are all sorts of great rumors about Facebook that we hear, but this one seems to stick for some reason. Rumors have been going around — it’s not clear how widely — that the company is planning to use Facebook users’ photos in advertisements without their consent.

Basically, the same rumor went around in July. Yesterday, Facebook updated its denial blog post from that point in time with the following statement:

UPDATE on Tuesday, Nov. 24: This rumor about Facebook using your photos in ads without your consent is spreading again. The rumor was not true earlier this year and it is not true now. For more information on Facebook’s advertising policies and how we use photos, please take a look at the blog post below.

There you have it, folks. Facebook says it’s still not happening.

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However, in case you’re wondering, yes, there were third-party ad networks that did exactly what Facebook says it won’t — but they were shut down last June. And as we’ve noted in our previous coverage of these rumors, Facebook does actually use your profile photos for certain forms of interactive ads, like showing ads about sponsored pages that your friends have become fans of. However, as Facebook’s original blog post explained it: “These social ads always require that you and your friends have taken an express action to indicate your connections with the product or service and that no data be shared with the third party.”

And, in early August, Facebook introduced strict new guidelines for what third-party applications and ad networks can — and mostly can’t — do with user photos, including some new privacy settings.

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