Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has certainly been subjected to a lot of controversy lately, after announcing that it will incorporate the profile names and pictures of its users into some of its ads. It is a known fact that the entire Google business relies heavily on advertising services, and this new feature was announced as part of the changes in the terms of service of Google, that went into effect back in November 2013.
In a nutshell, the ads will display the users name as well as the users profile picture that have been shared on Google+. However, this will not affect those who do not have a Google+ account – to give an example, it is possible that the users profile name and photo will appear when the user writes a recommendation for an app that have previously been purchased from the Google Play Store, if the user has made the comment while logged in with their Google+ account.
As Google claimed, it has launched this personalized ad strategy simply because it hoped it would help those you know by writing recommendations and by displaying your profile picture and name right next to it – and vice versa. This would make it easier for your friends and relatives to see comments as well as reviews on various Google products. Basically, these recommendations are referred to as “shared endorsements” and the feature can be easily disabled with only several clicks of the mouse. However, those who are under 18 years of age should not be worried about this – although these users may see shared endorsements from other people, their own recommendations and profile name and pictures will not be made available to others.
Although this may be bothersome and inconvenient for many users, the good news is that you can easily opt out of this new feature – all you need to do is to access your Google+ profile, then go to the “Settings“ tab where you can make all the changes. This is recommended if you do not want your friends to see the recommendations and comments you have made on various products, and if you do not want to star in the Google ads, ads that will be visible not only in Google Play, but also in other services like Search or the well-known Google Maps as well.