Facebook Lets Ads Steal Your Profile Photos To Sell Crap To Your Friends

The internet has woken up to the fact that Facebook can steal photos from your profile page and use them in ads targeted at your friends.

We first reported on this on June 24th in the case of reader Rob who was invited on Facebook to meet hot singles who were waiting for him. The Facebook ad used a picture of his wife in the picture. Now a front-page Reddit story and people on Facebook itself are spreading the news about the privacy concern and making a stink.

To opt out, you can just go here and select “no one.” Or to do it from within Facebook, click settings -> privacy -> news feeds and wall -> facebook ads. If you have Ad-block, you have to disable it to do the opt out, as ad-block considers it also an ad.

The ads themselves are not served by Facebook but by third-party companies exploiting a part of the application platform which lets app developers see all the friends of a user who has added the app, even if that user’s friends haven’t themselves added the app.

In the description, Facebook says, “Facebook Ads make advertisements more interesting and more tailored to you and your friends,” but what it should really say is “Facebook Ads slap your picture on stupid IQ test and dating site ripoffs.”

When endofweb.co.uk noticed this issue and asked Facebook for a response, Facebook said they were in the process of investigating the deceptive ads and getting them shut down. David Swain, of the Product and Platform Communications department. at Facebook said, “It’s an important issue, and one we take seriously.”

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