Facebook has introduced a new feature on their website called Social Ads. Social Ads creates advertisements by linking information you have submitted with a product which would then be displayed in the news feeds of your friends.
Check out this article for a more thorough description of the social ad service.
This has raised questions of privacy on Facebook Ads work and some media have even reported that the ads could be illegal in certain places.
Here are some excerpts from the Privacy Policies and Terms of Service on MySpace and Facebook that stood out as I was reading through.
Using profile information
“Facebook may use information in your profile without identifying you as an individual to third parties. We do this for purposes such as aggregating how many people in a network like a band or movie and personalizing advertisements and promotions so that we can provide you Facebook. We believe this benefits you. You can know more about the world around you and, where there are advertisements, they’re more likely to be interesting to you. For example, if you put a favorite movie in your profile, we might serve you an advertisement highlighting a screening of a similar one in your town. But we don’t tell the movie company who you are.”
All posted information could be publicly available
“When you use Facebook, certain information you post or share with third parties (e.g., a friend or someone in your network), such as personal information, comments, messages, photos, videos, Marketplace listings or other information, may be shared with other users in accordance with the privacy settings you select. All such sharing of information is done at your own risk. Please keep in mind that if you disclose personal information in your profile or when posting comments, messages, photos, videos, Marketplace listings or other items , this information may become publicly available.”
From the Terms of Service
“By using the Service or the Site, you represent and warrant that you are 13 or older and in high school or college, or else that you are 18 or older, and that you agree to and to abide by all of the terms and conditions of this Agreement.”
Everything you post or write can be used or distributed by Facebook
“When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.”
Not responsible for something that someone posts about you
“Although we provide rules for user conduct and postings, we do not control and are not responsible for what users post, transmit or share on the Site and are not responsible for any offensive, inappropriate, obscene, unlawful or otherwise objectionable content you may encounter on the Site or in connection with any User Content or Third Party Applications, Software or Content. The Company is not responsible for the conduct, whether online or offline, of any user of the Site or Service.”
“When we are notified that a user has died, we will generally, but are not obligated to, keep the user’s account active under a special memorialized status for a period of time determined by us to allow other users to post and view comments.”
From Terms of Service
“Your profile may be deleted and your Membership may be terminated without warning, if we believe that you are under 14 years of age.”
Don’t include personal information
“Your MySpace.com profile may not include the following items: telephone numbers, street addresses, last names, and any photographs containing nudity, or obscene, lewd, excessively violent, harassing, sexually explicit or otherwise objectionable subject matter. Despite this prohibition, information provided by other MySpace.com Members (for instance, in their Profile) may contain inaccurate, inappropriate, offensive or sexually explicit material, products or services, and MySpace.com assumes no responsibility or liability for this material. If you become aware of misuse of the MySpace Services by any person, please contact MySpace or click on the “Report Inappropriate Content” link at the bottom of any MySpace.com page.”
MySpace can use any content you publish
“By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content on or through the MySpace Services, you hereby grant to MySpace.com a limited license to use, modify, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce, and distribute such Content solely on and through the MySpace Services.”
You could owe someone money
“You represent and warrant that: (i) you own the Content posted by you on or through the MySpace Services or otherwise have the right to grant the license set forth in this section, and (ii) the posting of your Content on or through the MySpace Services does not violate the privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, contract rights or any other rights of any person. You agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owing any person by reason of any Content posted by you to or through the MySpace Services.”