Starting this week, September 5th actually, you will lose a lot of control (all of it, almost) over how Facebook uses pictures of you, its users, in advertising. The same goes for kids under the age of 18.
According to proposed policy changes unveiled by Facebook this week:
“You give us permission to use your name and profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like). 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 consent or information, without any compensation to you.”
Let’s say that your teen has “liked” something on Facebook without your knowledge or approval. It could be risqué or it could be alcohol or other product intended for adults. Starting now, your smiling teen’s picture could appear in an advertisement for that product.
Short of deleting your account, there is an option available. You can go into your (or your teen’s) activity history in your Facebook profile and “unlike” all of the products or sites that you have liked in the past. The fact that you now don’t “like” something would mean that Facebook has no grounds for using you in that organization’s ads.
Even if your teen has been very judicious posting pictures of himself on Facebook, a friend of his could post a picture of him with a “tag” and he is fair game.
High profile privacy groups are arguing that the new photo policy violates Facebook’s prior settlement with the FTC, but that may not go anywhere. With Facebook, it’s not just about privacy settings. Teens and their parents need to understand the consequences of their activity, and Facebook’s rules for using their content.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.