Google has recently updated its ‘Terms of Service.’ As part of the update, the search giant can now make use of your profile name and photo in advertisements pitched to your friends and family online. Some are calling it a privacy nightmare, although Google insists it isn’t so.
When Google says that it intends to use your aforementioned information in ads, it doesn’t necessarily mean the regular ads. Rather, the company has come up with a new term called ‘shared endorsements.’ So, for instance, when you rate a local restaurant on one of Google’s sites, the search giant may take that information, make an ad out of it, use your photo and then pitch it to your contacts.
This may prove very effective from a marketing point of view because people tend to trust recommendations from social media contacts far more than the run-of-the-mill advertisements. For now, the profile information of users aged 18 or above will be used.
Some have called this a breach of user’s privacy because it doesn’t seek user’s permission first. Although Google has notified the users, many privacy activists cite that the company should have sought user’s content before launching this initiative.
In response, Google has defended the decision by stating, “The privacy and security of our users is one of our top priorities. We believe our Terms of Service updates are a positive step forward in clarifying important privacy and security details for our users, and are in full compliance with the law.”
You can read the detailed update on the ‘Terms of Service’ on Google’s Policies page. Moreover, you can opt out of this by going to the ‘Shared Endorsements Dashboard’ and tweaking the settings accordingly.