Facebook privacy settings gone wild – Husbands receives single ad with wife’s picture

It seems as if Facebook has changed their privacy settings again without informing the users: Facebook now uses by default your pictures in their Facebook ads. I first heard about it on the Mashable Blog.

This came out recently when a man saw ads on his Facebook page for a dating website with his wife’s picture in it. The screenshot of the wife’s blog shows the ad and the whole story.

Here is how you should change your privacy settings in case you want to avoid the same disaster and actually keep your privacy:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Privacy settings
  3. Click on “News Feed and Wall”
  4. Go to tab: “Facebook Ads” and for “Appearance in Facebook Ads” select “No one“:

Update: Facebook responds on their blog saying that they are tackling the problem.

Update 2: NYT picks up the topic: “Can you protect your image while on Facebook?” (07/24/2009)

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About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

2 thoughts on “Facebook privacy settings gone wild – Husbands receives single ad with wife’s picture

  1. Since I wrote the post last week, I’ve learned that Facebook isn’t the culprit. Instead, the ad is from a third party app developer. Those dang quizzes! Unfortunately, the suggestions for changing the ad settings don’t apply to applications. Nonetheless, changing that setting is probably still a good idea for most folks.

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