privacyprof writes: "Facebook recently announced a new advertising scheme called "Social Ads." Instead of using celebrities to hawk products, it will use pictures of Facebook users. Facebook might be entering into another privacy debacle. Facebook assumes that if people rate products highly or write good things about a product then they consent to being used in an advertisement for it. But such an assumption is wrong. When Facebook created a system that notified people's friends about new changes to people's profiles, the result was outrage. Facebook thought that there wasn't a privacy problem since the information was public. But as I argue in my book, The Future of Reputation,, Facebook didn't understand that privacy amounts to much more than keeping secrets — it involves controlling accessibility to personal data. With Social Ads, Facebook is again misunderstanding privacy — just because people say positive things about a product does not mean that they want to be used to shill it. People whose images are used in an advertisement without their consent might be able to sue under the tort of appropriation of name or likeness: "One who appropriates to his own use or benefit the name or likeness of another is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy." Restatement (Second) of Torts 652C."
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a
cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken