Google ads starring you -- yes, we’re talking your real name and your real face -- could already be popping up online.
That is, unless you’ve already taken action to stop the search giant from using your Google account information in its ads. If you haven’t, we’ll show you how in just a moment in three easy steps.
So you might have heard that Google quietly updated its Terms of Service a few weeks ago. If you’re like most people, you didn’t notice, and you might not make a habit of actually reading any company’s trailing terms and conditions, Google included.
Well, this time you might want to because Google’s latest “Privacy & Terms” update says the company can “display” a lot about you in ads and “other commercial contexts.”
According to Google’s new and not-so-improved (in our opinion) terms, this includes your “Google profile name, profile photo, and actions you take on Google or third-party applications connected to your Google Account (such as +1’s, review you write and recommendations you post) in our Services.”
It’s all part of Google’s new Shared Endorsements plan, which ensures “that your reviews, recommendations and other relevant activity” get in front of “the people you really care about” in the form of ads and in other “shopping contexts” that they might see when cruising for apps, music and other stuff in the Google Play store and elsewhere.
Google lays out how the new initiative works in this example:
For example, if you search for “Italian restaurants,” you might see an ad for a nearby restaurant along with your friend’s favorable review. Or, in Google Play, you might see that another friend has +1’d a new song or album.
That’s the bad news. The good news: You don’t have to sit idly by and let Google sell you out to sell products, services and who knows what else (even if you must sit idly by as Big Brother Google snoops your emails to better advertise to you, which is also clearly noted in its Terms of Service, in case you didn’t know).
Here’s all you have to do to keep your name and face out of Google ads:
1. Login to your Google account.
2. Go to Google’s Shared Endorsements page here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
3. Uncheck the box that reads “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.”
Once you opt out in a few quick clicks, you won’t exactly be flying under Google’s radar. Not even close. But at least you won’t be showing up in Google ads.