Smile, you’re in a Google ad for shared endorsements!

Google ads, the main moneymaker for everyone’s favourite all-seeing, all-knowing, totally harmless tech company has an exciting new surprise for you.

Google has updated their terms of service, which you have already of course agreed to, so that they can use your public information or activity in targeted advertising. That means your full name, profile photo, or any other Google related actions can show up endorsing a product you interacted with. It’s called Google Shared Endorsements.

Just think of it as your way of giving back to the Internet.

Shared Endorsements shouldn’t come as a surprise, seeing as pretty much every other major social network has tried this trick with varying levels of pushback; ranging from petitions to a $20 million class action lawsuit. And when you remember that Google is still fighting a protracted legal battle around scanning Gmail accounts to serve ads and collecting personal information with their street view vehicles (which is being presented as illegal wiretapping) you might find yourself asking what took them so long.

What is surprising is how much invasion of privacy we can choose to accept in return for relative convenience.

If you’re not feeling so generous about helping Google ads sell things, you can go and opt out at the bottom of this page.

opt-out

Scroll to the bottom, uncheck the box and click save. Google will ask you if you are sure. You’re sure.