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Facebook accused of ‘exploiting’ the dead

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By John Glenday, Reporter

January 25, 2013 | 2 min read

Facebook has become embroiled in yet another scandal this time centred on its dubious practice of incorporating the names and pictures of users in advertisements sent to their friends – without their permission.

Campaigners state that the tactic is ‘exploiting’ people, many of whom are more likely to look favourably on advertisements for products and services if they are, apparently, recommended by their friends – even, in some cases, those who are dead.

Simon Davies, founder of Privacy International, told The Times that this was just the latest ‘extreme’ example of Facebook’s money-grabbing tactics. He said: “Apart from any affront this may cause, it represents a desperate attempt to create an all-encompassing business model that puts advertising revenue at the front of the equation.”

Responding to complaints Facebook said occasionally dead users pages might be activated if there profile hadn’t been ‘memorialised’, adding that its terms and conditions of service expressly stated that a person’s ‘likes’ can be used for advertising.

Facebook further claimed that it was easy for users to switch the feature off.

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