Your Face in a Google Ad?
On October 11, Google announced changes to its Terms Of Service (TOS) that take effect November 11. If you continue to use any Google services, you agree to be bound by the new terms. So what’s new? Most importantly, Google wants to put your face in their ads. Learn how to avoid that, and see what else is new in the TOS...
Google Announces New Terms of Service
In the Google Terms of Service set to take effect on November 11th, there are three changes that may affect you. If you use any Google service (Search, Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Drive, Calendar, Picasa or a bunch of others you should read on.
First, Google “clarifies” how it can use your profile picture and name on Google products and in ads or reviews that appear on its products. Your profile info may appear in association with things that you +1, or “like” in old-fashioned Facebook terms.
A casual “+1” is now a “shared endorsement” in Google parlance. You might look at your face next to a glowing ad for a product or company and think, “Wait a minute, I LIKED it but I never meant to ENDORSE it!” Well, be more mindful of what you +1 from now on.
Google devotes a lot of words to explaining why this is beneficial to you and your circles of family, friends, and acquaintance. They mention that it can "help your friends and others find cool stuff online," and that "Recommendations from people you know can really help." But the bottom line is that people pay attention to ads that include familiar faces.
Fortunately, you can control the use of your name, face, and Google profile in ads. There is now a “Shared Endorsements” setting, but it’s well hidden. To opt out of Shared Endorsements in ads, follow this simple 10-step process.
- Go to Google.com and sign into your account.
- If it’s not already a Google+ account, upgrade.
- Click on your profile picture in the upper right corner.
- Click on the “Account” link.
- Click on “Google+” in the left sidebar.
- Find “Shared Endorsements” on the page, and click the Edit link.
- Scroll down to the checkbox that precedes the words “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.”
- Uncheck that box.
- Click the blue “Save” button.
- You're not quite done. Google says: "Are you sure? When you disable this setting, your friends will be less likely to benefit from your recommendations." Click the blue “Continue” button, but only if you're really sure that you don't want your face plastered all over the Web, to help Google sell stuff.
Obviously, Google really, really wants you to leave Shared Endorsements turned on. It could just be a matter of semantics, but the TOS seems to be saying that this opt-out applies only to ads, and that you have no choice about your name and face appearing in reviews and other things. I hope I'm wrong about that.
The second change to the TOS is harmless enough. Google wants you to agree to drive safely; so don't check your Gmail or watch YouTube videos when behind the wheel, please. They also ask you to follow the law while driving. This I found interesting, but maybe I'm just paranoid. If you have an Android phone with a GPS chip (as they all do), and you're logged into your Google account (as you most certainly are), does Google know how fast you're driving on any given road? Yes, they do. Just saying... :-)
Finally, Google reserves the right to implement two-factor authentication, app-specific passwords, and other security measures for your protection. This is a really good thing. See my article SECURITY TIP: Two Factor Authentication to learn more about why you should be using two-factor authentication to protect yourself from data loss and identity theft.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome! Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 28 Oct 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Your Face in a Google Ad? (Posted: 28 Oct 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved