Small Business News

Google Changes Terms To Use Profiles In Ads

Google announced a new update to its terms of service today that is no doubt going to ruffle some feathers. The change enables Google to use users’ profile names and photos across Google products as it sees fit. You know, like in ads.

Other changes include a reminder about mobile device safety and details on password confidentiality.

“We want to give you – and your friends and connections – the most useful information,” Google says of the changes. “Recommendations from people you know can really help. So your friends, family and others may see your Profile name and photo, and content like the reviews you share or the ads you +1’d. This only happens when you take an action (things like +1’ing, commenting or following) – and the only people who see it are the people you’ve chosen to share that content with. On Google, you’re in control of what you share. This update to our Terms of Service doesn’t change in any way who you’ve shared things with in the past or your ability to control who you want to share things with in the future.”

“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,” Google says. “For example, your friends might see that you rated an album 4 stars on the band’s Google Play page. And the +1 you gave your favorite local bakery could be included in an ad that the bakery runs through Google.”

Google shared endorsements

Google calls the recommendations “shared endorsements,” and has a place where you can go to adjust your settings, and control whether or not your image and name appear in ads. It does appear to be enabled by default, so you may want to check that out. Google does say that if you have told Google in the past that you don’t want your +1s to appear in ads, then they’ll continue to respect that.

Note, however, that the setting only applies to use in ads. It has no effect on where your name and image might appear on other Google products.

Google also says that for user under 18, they won’t appear in shared endorsements in ads and “certain other contexts.”

Google+ still doesn’t have ads on it the way Facebook does, but this highlights how Google is able to use the profile, which is the backbone of Google+ as a way to improve its ads elsewhere.

The new terms will go into effect on November 11th. You can read the actual ToS here.

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