Last week Google updated its terms of service to allow it to use your name, face, reviews and social networking activity (such as +1s) in ads displayed to your friends or anyone else Google thinks would be influenced by your opinion. Fortunately, it's easy to opt out. Here's how.
We actually explained how to do this last weekend, but since the issue continues to bubble on social media, here's a reminder:
- Click here to go directly to the "Shared Endorsements" Google+ settings page.
- Uncheck the box labelled "Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads." Click Save.
- You'll see a pop-up warning you that if you disable the feature, your friends won't see your recommendations. Ignore that and click Continue.
That's all there is to it. If you don't want your name, photo, +1s, comments, or Google Reviews to be used in advertisements, you'll need to uncheck that box. You'll need to do this for every Google account you have (including Google Apps for your domain), and if you're a Google+ user, the box is enabled by default.
To be fair, Google has been clear in alerting people to the change and providing a direct link to opt out. That's more than can be said for Facebook, which made a similar change earlier this year without offering a simple opt-out option.
How to Opt Out of Google's Plan to Use Your Name and Comments in Ads [The New York Times]