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Google To Start Adding User Names, Photos to Web Ads

1:03 PM, Oct 11, 2013   |    comments
(AP file)
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By Brett Molina, USA TODAY

Users of Google's services could soon see their profile name, profile photo or comments appear in online advertising.

The company updated its Terms of Service to allow them to add users' names, photos or comments in a series of ads called Shared Endorsements. 

By default, users will not be automatically opted-in, but it is a an option that can be enabled by Google users, by heading here. (http://bit.ly/19u0R0Q)

In a statement issued Friday detailing the changes, Google stresses users will have full control over whether they share information through these endorsements.

"On Google, you're in control of what you share," reads a statement from the company. "This update to our Terms of Service doesn't change in any way who you've shared things with in the past or your ability to control who you want to share things with in the future."

The endorsements would appear across Google services including Google Play, Maps and Search. For example, if you rated an album or song on Google Play, your friends will see that activity; or any +1's given to businesses might be included in Search advertisements.

Users can choose to enable Shared Endorsements and who can view them.

The Terms of Service take effect November 11.

Including users in online advertising has become a heated issue among customers of services who don't want their information tied to any ads. Last year, Instagram backtracked on changes to its privacy policy that suggested the photo sharing service could feature user images in ads.

Contributing: Derry London, WLTX @Derry_London


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