Google Gives Itself The Right To Make Money Off Users’ Names & Photos

Examples of what Google's  "Shared Endorsements" look like.

Examples of what Google’s “Shared Endorsements” look like.

If you’re a Google user, be prepared to possibly have your name, photos, and any comments you might have made using that account used in ads that Google will make money from. The company quietly announced a change to its Terms of Service this morning, giving itself the ability to exploits user profiles in “Shared Endorsements.”

The changes, which kick in on Nov. 11, won’t be taking your face and putting them on an ad for McDonald’s or anything like that. Instead, just like Facebook’s controversial “Sponsored stories,” Google’s Shared Endorsements will take content — such as reviews you’ve written about a product, title, or service, and ads you might have shared on Google+ — and slap your name on it so that all your friends can see that you really, really enjoy a particular brand of denture adhesive.

“Feedback from people you know can save you time and improve results for you and your friends across all Google services, including Search, Maps, Play and in advertising,” explains the company, trying really hard to make this not sound overly invasive and downright creepy. “For example, your friends might see that you rated an album 4 stars on the band’s Google Play page. And the +1 you gave your favorite local bakery could be included in an ad that the bakery runs through Google.”

Users can control whether their info appears in these ads via the Shared Endorsement settings page, which is different than the Google Ad Settings page, though we don’t see why the two aren’t combined.

Google to Sell User Profiles and Photos in Ads [Digits]