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Google + is Adding Shared Endorsements

Posted by JenThorpe at 3:40 PM on October 11, 2013

GoogleGoogle has changed its Terms of Service in a way that some people are not going to like. As of November 11, 2013, your Google Profile name and photo may appear in Shared Endorsements. In short, this means that your name and image may be placed into advertisements (without notifying you before it happens).

This reminds me a lot of the Sponsored Stories that appear on Facebook. I cannot think of a more obvious way for a social media company to proclaim that it sees users as living, breathing, advertisements.

Neither Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, nor the Shared Endorsements from Google +, will result in paying the people that are includes in ads. One difference is that the Google + Shared Endorsements are not limited to Google +. Your Google Profile name and photo could also pop up in the Google Play music store.

You have a couple of options if you want to avoid becoming part of an ad on Google +. The most obvious way to do this would be to quit using Google +. Not everyone is going to want to immediately go with the “nuclear option” though.

Another way to try and avoid becoming an ad is to go into the Google Account Settings and opt-out. Look for a box that has already been checked for you. Next to that box, it says: Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads. Uncheck that box! Don’t forget to click “save”.

There is another difference between Facebook’s Sponsored Stories and the Shared Endorsements from Google. Facebook automatically assumes that parents of users who are under the age of 18 have given Facebook permission to use their child’s name and photos in ads.

There is a note at the bottom of the Shared Endorsements information in the Google Account Settings. It reads: If you are under 18, you may see shared endorsements from others but your own name and profile will not be paired with endorsements in ads and certain other contexts.

9 Comments

  1. From shawno at 3:37 pm on October 11, 2013

    RT @GeekNews: Google + is Adding Shared Endorsements: Google has changed its Terms of Service in a way that so… http://t.co/ROijBMQdxy

  2. From QueenofHaiku at 3:38 pm on October 11, 2013

    RT @GeekNews: Google + is Adding Shared Endorsements: Google has changed its Terms of Service in a way that so… http://t.co/ROijBMQdxy

  3. From macpro at 4:15 pm on October 11, 2013

    Google’ Shared Endorsements: BAD! » Geek News Central #google #Privacy #Shared Endorsemen [...] http://t.co/vkU0LfofzD via @geeknews

  4. From macpro at 4:24 pm on October 11, 2013

    OK another social network that I will probably be cutting back on if not totally disconnecting from.

  5. From GeekLifeNews at 7:31 pm on October 11, 2013

    Google + is Adding Shared Endorsements http://t.co/kZC7OR0d3i

  6. From geekazine at 7:58 pm on October 11, 2013

    Google + is Adding Shared Endorsements http://t.co/bJ2Z4U63Qo #geek

  7. From Ken Leppek at 8:43 pm on October 11, 2013

    Ken Leppek liked this on Facebook.

  8. From Andrew at 3:48 am on October 12, 2013

    Let me get this straight….people are objecting that Google is showing ratings and reviews that they’ve already provided in ads about a product or service that they’ve already used? Are you now embarrassed that you gave a 5* rating to Snakes on a Plane? Don’t you want people to know that you think Taco Bell is the best eatery in town?

    Ok, so I’m being over-the-top, but it’s for a reason. Remember, you are the product with Google, so if you don’t want them to use you us a product, don’t give them anything to use.

  9. From macesarr at 7:58 pm on October 12, 2013

    #Geek #News Google + is Adding Shared Endorsements http://t.co/aAlrcIzBCV