Prevent Facebook from using your name & photos in advertisements

Every once in a while, you get to hear the rumor on Facebook that Facebook Will Start Using Your Photos in Ads on Friday. Well, to be honest. its just that and nothing more. No such thing is happening anytime soon.

But it is nevertheless a good idea to NOT get caught unawares – as there is an element of truth somewhere in that message.

Facebook can use your photos in ads in two ways:

  1. It can do so in Social Ads
  2. It can do so in 3rd party advertising networks

Opt out of Facebook Social Ads

Facebook’s policy on Social ads and about using your personal photos is very clearly stated:

Instead of random messages from advertisers, we’ve launched Social Ads. Social Ads provide advertisements alongside related actions your friends have taken on the site. These actions may be things like “Leah is now a fan of The Offspring” or “Justin wrote a review for Sushi Hut”. These actions could then be paired with an ad that either The Offspring or Sushi Hut provides.

Here are some facts about Facebook Social ads:

  • Social ads show an advertiser’s message alongside actions you have taken, such as liking a Page
  • Your privacy settings apply to social ads Facebook says that it does not sell your information to advertisers
  • Only confirmed friends can see your actions alongside an ad
  • And lastly and most importantly, if a photo is used, it is your profile photo that will be used and not one from your photo albums.

There is no way to control these ads but if you wish you can opt-out by visiting this page and select Pair my social actions with ads for No one.

Opt out of Facebook Ads shown by third parties

In future, Facebook may also start using your name or pictures in third-party ads – should they ever decide to do so!

The current policy on this is also clearly stated, “Facebook does not give third party applications or ad networks the right to use your name or picture in ads. If we allow this in the future, the setting you choose will determine how your information is used.”

So it is clear that Facebook does reserve the right to use your pictures in external ad networks too in future – but it again offers a way to opt out.

To do so, log in to your Facebook account and visit this page and and select Show my information to No one. Make sure you save the changes!

So unless you want Facebook to use your name and pictures in their advertising for free, it might be a good idea to opt out of them right away, rather than wait for the policy to be declared.

In this way you can prevent Facebook from using your name and pictures in Social ads and third-party ads.

Go here if you want to prevent Facebook friends from browsing your photos using Bing Search.


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