Google has announced its plans to launch new product-endorsement ads featuring photos, comments and names of its users, with an intent to make ads more social and personalised.
Google's new terms of service go live on November 11, allowing Google to utilize users' name, photo and product reviews posted through Google+, Google's social network, in ads that it sells to businesses. This means that reviews of restaurants, shops and products, as well as songs and other content bought on the Google Play store could show up in ads that are displayed to the users' friends and connections when they search on Google along with their image.
Privacy advocates as well as users of Google services are worried about this change, more so because it's the default option unless a user opts out.
To simplify the process of opting-out, we've broken it down for you. Here's how you can opt out of sharing your information in endorsement-ads:
You can simply click on the bell shaped Notifications icon on the top right corner of any Google service page and see a prompt for 'New Terms of Service'. Then click on 'Learn More' and you'll get a page that offers all the details about the changes in addition to a link to the Shared Endorsement setting.
Clicking on the Endorsement setting link will open up a page which will feature a checkbox that says 'Based on my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.' You can just uncheck it and click on the Save button to opt out of the new program.
You can also go directly to the Endorsement setting page by pointing your browser to http://plus.google.com/settings/endorsements.
Google clarifies that it will not display names and profiles of users under the age of 18 with shared endorsements in ads and certain other places, though these users will see shared endorsements from others in ads.
It's worth pointing out that changing this setting does not impact how the users' name and photo might look in a shared endorsement that is not in an ad. For instance if you +1 an app, your profile name and picture would still appear in that app's listing page.
With agency inputs