Google TOS update details plan to sell users’ endorsements

Oct 11, 2013
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Google TOS update details plan to sell users’ endorsements

Google has recently announced an update to its terms of service and in short, it looks like they will soon be taking advantage of user ratings and reviews. The details of the terms of service update have been posted on the Google Policies & Principles page and will be going into effect on November 11, 2013. And in addition to simply updating the page and leaving everyone to hunt for the changes, Google has offered a summary for those "allergic to legalese."

That being said, there are three changes this time around. These include details on keeping your password confidential and a reminder to use your mobile devices safely. While those two items seem innocent enough, there is a bit more with the third and final item. Google has this listed as being a clarification on how your "profile name and photo might appear in Google products."

Google goes on to mention how these 'products' could include reviews, advertising and "other commercial contexts." Basically, Google is going to begin selling user endorsements. Potential items here include reviews that you may have posted in the Play Store. Other items include Google Plus postings and even comments that you may leave on YouTube.

This will only affect adult users, which should help ease some minds. But otherwise, those leaving comments, reviews or ratings on any Google product may soon see their words used in advertisements. And in addition to the words, it also looks like Google will be able to use your name and image as well. For those curious, Google calls these shared endorsements.

Aside from these being adult only, users will also have the opportunity to opt out. Those looking to opt out can head to www.google.com/settings and on the Google Plus page, look for the "Shared Endorsements" option, which appears to be turned on by default. Also to clarify, the adult only portion refers to those 18 and over.

VIA: New York Times


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