Facebook Ads Using Your Profile Picture – Again!

Back in July, I blogged about how Facebook was using our profile pictures in Facebook uses profile pictures in adssidebar ads on the site. I provided instructions on how to opt-out of such ads being displayed. As a result of that blog post, FOXNews in New York interviewed me on this subject. I also posted again after Facebook made statement that these ads were not coming from Facebook, but third-party applications who were since banned. However, Facebook is at it again….

Apparently there are now two sections within the privacy settings on Facebook that require our attention to let them know our ad display preferences:

  1. Ads shown by third-party applications
  2. Ads shown by Facebook

Previously there was just one such setting and I set mine to ‘no one’, meaning I did not want my Facebook personal profile picture to display on any Facebook ads.

I received a heads-up this morning that we once again need to check out privacy settings and when I did, sure enough, the settings I had indicated previously were set to ‘only my friends’ for the third-party application settings. So time to go double-check your privacy settings.

Ads shown by third-party applications

To adjust your settings for this;

  • Log in to Facebook
  • go to Settings > Privacy Settings > News Feed and Wall > Facebook Ads tab
  • Set “Ads shown by third-party applications” to “NO ONE”
  • click “Save Changes”

Then just below this section:

Ads shown by Facebook

This is what Facebook says about ads that they show:

Facebook strives to create relevant and interesting advertisements to you and your friends. Here are the facts about Facebook Ads:

  • Facebook Ads are sometimes paired with social actions (e.g., becoming a fan of a Page) that your friends have taken.
  • You only appear in Facebook Ads to your confirmed friends. If a photo is used, it is your profile photo and not from your photo albums.
  • Facebook doesn’t sell your information to advertisers.
  • Facebook actively enforces policies that help protect your experience with third party applications and ad networks.

So while previously, the fault for ads showing our profile picture were blamed on nefarious third-party apps, now Facebook is clearly stating they will use your profile picture in ads that they themselves place on the site. Such ads are triggered by your “social actions”, and they are using your image. Perhaps not a big deal to some, but I prefer that my photo not be used.

If you too would prefer that your profile picture not be used in social actions ads by Facebook, here’s how to adjust those settings to opt-out:

  • Log in to Facebook
  • go to Settings > Privacy Settings > News Feed and Wall > Facebook Ads tab
  • Set “Show my social actions in Facebook Ads ” to “NO ONE”
  • click “Save Changes”

If we want to remain in control of our privacy settings, it is imperative that we periodically check the Privacy Settings area of Facebook, and any other social media sites or applications we use as well. With the social media environment ever-changing, we need to keep on our toes to ensure that we are up-to-speed on any changes made to the terms of service and privacy settings for all of our social media activities.

To YOUR Success,

P.S. Do you opt-out of Facebook using your profile picture in ads? Do you think it’s a big deal? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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