Google users, you’re about to become shills(or just an ad component). A major update to the company’s Terms of Service agreement today could have some users’ profiles showing up in ads across the web. These “shared endorsements,” as Google is calling them, leverage any reviews, comments, +1s, follows or stars a user may have given to a business or brand by effectively placing that user’s name, photo and any relevant comment in a personalized advertisement. It’s worth nothing, however, that if you’ve set restrictions on your shared comments, personalized ads will only be shown to friends within that Google+ circle.
We know what you’re thinking: you want out.
Google knows this too, which is why the company is allowing users the ability to opt-out, while also excluding any and all users under the age of 18. And any users that previously opted out of +1s will automatically be exempted. The ads are set to go live on November 11th, so there’s still about a month to go before users will begin to see these “shared endorsements” pop up, giving Google ample time to explain the change across its suite of services and users the ability to take appropriate action (and give up on the internet altogether).