Facebook apologized Wednesday for using a dating-service advertisement that featured the picture of a teenage who committed suicide after she was bullied.
In a statement, Facebook called it "unfortunate."
The teenager died five months ago. It was earlier this week that her photo was noticed appearing in the dating service ad.
"I don't think that's right. I think there should be more respect for her, definitely," said Facebook user Shelby Swofford.
The death of 17-year-old old Rehtaeh Parsons from Halifax, Nova Scotia, made headlines in April. She was bullied and committed suicide following an alleged sexual assault.
"That's shocking. Horrible. And I've seen a lot of people on Facebook who just get used for advertisements just because it's a really easy target," said Christine Pearson.
Facebook released a statement reading: "This is an extremely unfortunate example of an advertiser scraping an image from the internet and using it in their ad campaign. This is a gross violation of our ad policies and we have removed the ad and permanently deleted the advertiser's account."
"The advertising was implying you would meet the person on the dating website, which we know could not be true," said Santa Clara University Professor Eric Goldman. "So not only was it incredibly disrespectful to the woman depicted, but it was also deceptive."
Goldman is the director of Santa Clara University's High-Tech Law Institute. He said the bottom line is American advertisers can't use someone's image without their consent.
He even wrote a case book on that exact issue.
"Advertiser loses every case we talk about in the case book," said Goldman.
"It's just a breach of your privacy. That's scary they can do that," said Pearson. "They can find your picture. We're in a world where it's possible and that's scary."
The professor also pointed out that while in general there may be legal rights, users should be aware every time you post a photo, you are losing some control of where that image can end up.
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