Facebook, Ads, and Privacy

Within hours of Facebook’s announcement of its social advertising plans, the backlash began. More recently, there have been posts such as Facebook’s Cruel Intentions and The Daily Poll: Are Facebook Beacon Ads Illegal?

Only about one in five of respondents to the poll consider the ads both legal and respectable. Now, there are good reasons for treating the results of that poll less seriously than those of , for example, the comScore Radiohead report. But, to put it mildly, there does seem to be cause for concern for Facebook and its users.

So, let’s sign on to Facebook, for the first time in weeks in my case! Let’s take a look at our privacy page and see what options it gives us relative to ads. I don’t see any. Let’s search the page. There we are! Oh, it’s a link at the foot of the page in case I want to run ads on Facebook.

Maybe there’s some information about ads on the Privacy and Security help page? No.

One of the ways in which Facebook might address the privacy-focused backlash against its ad network would be to make it easy for users to find information and options about the use of their data in ads.

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