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8/29/2013
05:20 PM
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Facebook Says User Data Is Price Of Admission

Social network clarifies it has the right to sell ads associated with user names and profile pictures without compensating the user.

10 Facebook Features To Help You Get Ahead
10 Facebook Features To Help You Get Ahead
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Facebook has proposed changes to its legal obligations that allow it to feature users' names and profile pictures alongside advertisements without compensating the users.

The changes, in the company's Data Use Policy and its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, have been outlined in an online post by Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan. They come as a result of a $20 million settlement approved last week by a San Francisco judge that resolves claims that the social network featured users' images, some of whom were minors, in its Sponsored Stories advertisements without payment or permission.

Over 600,000 Facebook users will be awarded about $15 each, or about $9 million in total, with the remainder of the settlement going to attorneys and privacy groups.

Facebook could have been on the hook for far more, a potentially ruinous $112 billion, had the judge found it reasonable to apply California Civil Code § 3344, the Celebrities Rights Act, which calls for $750 in damages, or actual damages, if a person's voice, image, name or likeness is used for commercial purposes without consent.

[ Is wearable computing more than a fashion accessory? Read Google Glass Gets Road Test. ]

Egan explains that Facebook "rewrote the entire advertising section to better explain what we thought was important for people to know about how we use the information we receive to provide relevant ads to people on and off Facebook."

The relevant revision to Facebook's Proposed Statement of Rights and Responsibilities clarifies that users grant permission to allow Facebook to use their name, profile picture, content and information in conjunction with ads and sponsored content. A newly added sentence states, "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 content or information, without any compensation to you."

The other noteworthy change can be found in the company's Data Use Policy. It describes how the company uses facial recognition technology to identify you in friends' photos and to suggest that friends tag you.

"We are able to suggest that your friend tag you in a picture by scanning and comparing your friend's pictures to information we've put together from your profile pictures and the other photos in which you've been tagged," the document says.

Facebook is offering its users the opportunity to review the changes and to comment on them for seven days. Previously, the company offered users the opportunity to vote on governance issues, but it did away with democracy in 2012 after only 665,000 people out of a minimum 300 million cast votes on the future of Facebook voting.

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Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/3/2013 | 12:31:09 PM
re: Facebook Says User Data Is Price Of Admission
Haha! But then once Facebook finds the G+ symbol when it tries to profit from the user, that user's icon would be deemed to be in violation of FB's policies...
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2013 | 11:33:31 AM
re: Facebook Says User Data Is Price Of Admission
Hehe! Good idea....as icon use the Goggle+ symbol...not that Google is any better when it comes to turning user data into cash.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2013 | 11:31:47 AM
re: Facebook Says User Data Is Price Of Admission
How many more reasons are needed before people stop using Spybook?
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
8/30/2013 | 9:45:17 PM
re: Facebook Says User Data Is Price Of Admission
What is the role of chief privacy officer at a company that says, "We own your data as soon as you hit submit?" Facebook doesn't think in terms of individual privacy, or perhaps can't afford to think in terms of it.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
8/30/2013 | 9:09:04 PM
re: Facebook Says User Data Is Price Of Admission
I've been backing away from FB for two years now. Just feeling more and more like I'm a pawn in their game. Using my personal content to sell ads and facial recognition to help people find and tag me, which in turn will create data to sell against more ads? The shark has been jumped. The people I want to find pictures of me have no problem doing it because they're MY FRIENDS. It doesn't need to be suggested to them. I'll put up with these tactics from Google because Google provides very useful services. Facebook does not.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/30/2013 | 7:12:45 PM
re: Facebook Says User Data Is Price Of Admission
Friends, in the meaningful sense of the word, don't advertise to each other.
Yab
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Yab,
User Rank: Strategist
8/30/2013 | 6:39:03 PM
re: Facebook Says User Data Is Price Of Admission
So if Facebook users change their profile pics to be icons, or offensive images, or images containing profanity, it could make their advertising quite interesting.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/30/2013 | 4:40:40 PM
re: Facebook Says User Data Is Price Of Admission
The problem with Facebook - as it has struggled to monetize its business - is that it just doesn't care about the rights of their users. Facebook is all too happy to help their advertisers subvert the pictures and other information of Facebook users to help sell products to other people. "Hey folks, Damien is having a blast with our product and YOU should too!. See him in action here."
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
8/30/2013 | 2:44:18 PM
re: Facebook Says User Data Is Price Of Admission
Seems like stating the obvious, but perhaps it puts them in a better legally defensible position against complaints.
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