Google has announced that it will be expanding its ad program to include user data, such as pictures and information. Names and photos will be included in so-called “reviews” that display underneath an advertisement, essentially to add credence to the ad itself.
In order for this to work, Google has had to update its terms of service to include language specifying that if you rate something or +1 something on Google Plus, that information can be shared in advertisements across Google’s ad network.
Of course there will be some controversy surrounding this move however, users are able to opt-out of sharing Google Plus information. “Feedback from people you know can save you time and improve results for you and your friends across all Google services, including Search, Maps, Play and in advertising,” stated Google in its blog post.
These “shared endorsements” as Google is calling them are completely optional and users are able to choose how their endorsements appear in Google ads. If you opt-in to the new service, Google has the right to share your photos and comments in Google Search, Maps, and Google Play.
Although it is completely optional, we have already seen the way that users react to these types of changes to terms of service agreements. When Instagram attempted to implement a similar program, it was shot down after enough users complained. Google will likely follow through with shared endorsements even if complaints start rolling in, but the company is trying to reassure users that if they do not want their information to make its way into the program, then it will not be included.
Google will be updating its terms of service on November 11. From what we can tell, shared endorsements will be enabled by default, so if you do not want your information to be shared, make sure to change your settings.