Facebook proposes changes to privacy policy, affecting how users’ likenesses are attached to ads

Facebook is proposing changes to its documents that govern privacy and how data is used in ads and elsewhere throughout the site. In light of the sponsored stories lawsuit, Facebook wants it to be clear that users are granting permission for their likenesses to be used in conjunction with advertising. The updates are scheduled to take effect Sept. 5.

An important change in the statement of rights and responsibilities notes that users would be granting Facebook permission to use their information in ads.

For a redline document showing proposed changes to the statement of rights and responsibilities, click here.

For a similar document showing proposed changes to the data use policy, click here.

Under the current statement of rights and responsibilities, Facebook notes that users can tweak their privacy settings to decide if they want their likeness to be attached to ads:

You can use your privacy settings to limit how your name and profile picture may be associated with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us.

Here is the proposed rewording to this statement (though Facebook claims that the site will not give away information to companies without a user’s consent):

You give us permission to use your name, and profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related that content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us, subject to the limits you place. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you. If you have selected a specific audience for your content or information, we will respect your choice when we use it.

A Facebook spokesperson responded to Inside Facebook, noting that the above statement is just stating clearly what a Facebook user agrees to when they sign up for the site.

Facebook is also proposing updates to its data use policy, including taking information from your email when you communicate with Facebook in this fashion. Here’s an excerpt showing other ways that Facebook can glean information:

We receive data from or about the computer, mobile phone, or other devices you use to install Facebook apps or to access Facebook, including when multiple users log in from the same device. This may include network and communication information, such as your IP address or mobile phone number, and other information about things like your internet service, operating system, location, the type (including identifiers) of the device or browser you use, or the pages you visit. For example, we may get your GPS or other location information so we can tell you if any of your friends are nearby, or we could request device information to improve how our apps work on your device.

To give feedback regarding these changes, click here and comment. Facebook will review users’ comments and then decide an appropriate course of action. Previously, Facebook put proposed changes to these documents up to a vote, but the company felt that there was not enough user participation.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.