Google has recently changed their privacy policy and according new terms of Services, now your name and picture will appear in Google ads! Yes in the Google ads that we see when we search anything.  Shocking, isn’t it? 



Google Plus Activity and Reviews May Appear in Google Ads with User’s Name and Profile Picture:


When you review any product in Google plus or in tied in Google services on Google maps, Google apps or Google play music store, your recommendations appear in Google plus ads. Also your activity on G + such as follows, shares, +1s will be used in commercial and promotional context along with your name and profile image.


Google has named this public sharing of your social activity on Google as Shared Endorsements.



The picture appearing in Google plus ads will be same as that of your Google plus profile. This means, because of Shared Endorsements the profile picture, name and comments by a user may show up on any of 2 million sites that are part of Google ad Network according to CNN.

These Shared endorsements are appearing in Google ads according to new TOS by default. If you are worried about the privacy of your information and photo, you can change the account settings to prevent your information appearing in Google commercials.

How to Turn Off Shared Endorsements:

 Follow these simple steps:
  1. Sign in to Gmail account.
  2. Go to Account Settings.
  3. On the left hand side you will see Google Plus, click on it.
  4. Turn Off the Shared endorsements setting. 


Or

Just click on this link : https://plus.google.com/u/0/settings/endorsementsand uncheck  the check-box next to ‘Based on my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads’ And save the change.



Please note,even if turn off Shared Endorsements, if you review any product through Google services, your name and comments will be present at that particular site, e.g. if you review your favorite music album in Google Play music store, your endorsement will be present there in the music store irrespective of Shared Endorsement settings being on or off. So, if you don’t like your name appearing publicly in any review, just don’t review them.  


The reviews done by you appear as Review tab in G plus profile, you can hide the tab from your friends by changing account settings, similarly you can hide plus one and other tabs too if you don’t wish to share your activity.

The name and profile image of the Google users who are under 18 will not appear in shared endorsements but they can still see the endorsements by their friends.

Summary:


Facebook already uses your Likes as recommendations in Facebook Sponsored Ads which appear in the right hand side bar. Also Sponsored Stories show your Likes to different Facebook pages to your Friends.

In short, though these Social Media Channels like Google Plus, Facebook look free, but they are actually making their business by using the information shared by their users.
Apart from safely choosing the privacy settings, one should always use social networking sites carefully to avoid public sharing of personal information and safety.



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