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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Your name, photo, reviews: Google wants to use them in ads it sells

Posted: 10/12/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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Google wants your permission to use your name, photo and product reviews in ads it sells to businesses.

The Internet search giant is changing its terms of service Nov. 11.

Your reviews of restaurants, shops and products, as well as songs and other content bought on the Google Play store could show up in ads that are displayed to your friends, connections and the public when they search on Google. The company calls the feature "shared endorsements."

Google laid out an example of how this could happen: "Katya Klinova," her face and five-star review appear underneath an ad for Summertime Spas.

You can opt out of sharing your reviews. Google said Friday the name and photo you use in its social network, Google Plus, is the one that would appear in the ad. Google has said the social network has 390 million active users per month. "We want to give you -- and your friends and connections -- the most useful information. Recommendations from people you know can really help," the company said.

Google already had a similar setting for its "+1" button, which it introduced in 2011. It had experimented temporarily with putting "+1" endorsements with users' identities in ads, but it hasn't had them up recently. The company said Friday the choice a user made about allowing for "+1" endorsements would be the default setting for shared endorsements. Also, if a user chooses to limit an endorsement to certain circles of friends or contacts, that restriction will be respected in any ads that use the endorsement.

In August, Facebook said it would show users' faces and names in ads about products they clicked to "like." That proposal was criticized by privacy groups.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 12, 2013 B9

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