Sunday, October 13, 2013

How to opt out of Google shared endorsements

On Friday, Google announced an update to its terms of service that includes something called "shared
google shared endorsements
An example of Google shared endorsements.
endorsements." Scheduled to roll out Nov. 11, shared endorsements essentially allow Google to include adult users' names, photos and comments in ads shown across the Web. The shared endorsements will be based on ratings, reviews and posts that users have made on Google Plus and other Google services.

Does this sound a bit like Facebook's "Sponsored Stories"? Indeed. Hopefully learning from the recently settled $20 million class action lawsuit against Facebook regarding Sponsored Stories, Google is providing a way for users to opt out of shared endorsements.

Here is a quick way to exclude yourself from Google's shared endorsements (Note: If you are under 18, you may see shared endorsements from others but your own name and profile will not be paired with shared endorsements in ads and certain other contexts.):
google terms of service
If you own or manage a Google Plus page (such as one for an organization), there's a slightly different approach to opting out of shared endorsements:
  • On the left-hand "Home" menu, drop down to choose "Dashboard."
  • Click on "Settings" on the right.
  • Scroll down to where it says "Shared Endorsements."
  • Click "Edit."
  • Scroll down and uncheck the box next to "Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads."
  • Click Save. 
One note from Google:  "Changing this setting does not impact how your Page's name and photo might look in a shared endorsement that is not in an ad — for example, when your Page shares a music recommendation that is displayed in the Play Store. You can limit the visibility of activity outside of ads by deleting the activity or changing its visibility settings."
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