Facebook is once again proposing changes to its terms of service (TOS), that some in the industry feel gives the social media giant complete control over your images that you post online to your profile.

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The initial uproar over the past few days has lead Facebook to delay, temporarily, implementation of the new TOS as they “review” the changes. The new TOS was to go into effect on September 5, 2013.

What aspect of the new TOS is creating the uproar?

The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) summarized it best when they warned their members to be cautious as, according to the ASMP,  Facebook’s new terms would allow the company to exploit your name, likeness, content, images, private information, and personal brand by using it in advertising and in commercial and sponsored content – without any compensation to you.

Facebook’s proposed TOS can be found online here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-site-governance/10153167395945301

The key change in the new TOS is that, unlike in the past, you cannot opt out of this latest change. You don’t have a choice. Previously, you could change your privacy settings to keep Facebook out of your profile and images. The new TOS has removed the clause that makes them subject to the privacy settings you set on your profile. Essentially, Facebook is telling you, “we’re going to do this.”

So what is the “this” Facebook is going to do?

According to ASMP, Facebook can use your images, both your profile image and any photos you upload, and place them in any advertising they want to. It can make you appear to be “liking” or approving of a commercial service. And you might never know that your likeness and images are being used, as they quite possibly wouldn’t appear on your own newsfeed.

And, of course, Facebook would be making money off of your likeness and images, without you making a cent from the use.

But the Facebook TOS “exploitation” doesn’t stop there, according to the ASMP. They also believe, from their interpretation of the new TOS, that “when you are using Facebook, or when Facebook is running, it allows Facebook to monitor your web browsing, as well as to gather information from your mobile phone while the Facebook mobile app is running, including your location, recent calls, and other mobile activities.”


What can you do?

Spread the word. The more negative publicity Facebook gets from this new proposed TOS, the greater the chances they will not enact the changes. They already postponed the initial date of implementation, due to the first outcry. Now the new TOS is becoming more aware, especially within the photo community.

Share the news with your fellow photographers. Let them know what Facebook is planning on doing, and how they take your photos and make money off of them without you having any say in the matter.

Ironically, what is the easiest way to spread the word to your fellow photographers?

Yep, Facebook.

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[imageeffect align=”alignleft” width=”50″ height=”50″ alt=”” url=”wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Bio_Mug_MichaelMariant.jpg” titleoverlay=”no”]Michael A. Mariant is the founder and Director of Workshop Operations for High Sierra Workshops. Michael leads several workshops and courses with HSW, including “Advanced Photography: The Zen of Thinking in Yosemite“, “Yosemite in Winter”, “Yosemite in Spring”, “Death Valley”, “Time Lapse Photography”, “Eastern Sierra & Owens Valley” and the highly-acclaimed and immensely popular “Ultimate Travel Photography Workshop”.

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