Facebook in fresh privacy row with new ad-user policy
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Facebook is drawing fire from privacy activists again, after unveiling a new policy that could turn users' data and pictures into advertising.
The new plan would "dramatically expand the use of personal information for advertising purposes", said a letter this week to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by six privacy organisations. The letter said the changes violate a 2011 consent order with the US watchdog agency and urged the FTC to "act to enforce its order".
If the changes take effect, the letter said, "Facebook users who reasonably believed that their images and content would not be used for commercial purposes without their consent will now find their pictures showing up on the pages of their friends endorsing the products of Facebook's advertisers".
"Remarkably, their images could even be used by Facebook to endorse products that the user does not like or even use," added the letter from the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, Centre for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog and three other groups.