Our social networks are full of small fragments of our daily lives, and photos accumulate there that we think will never appear outside our small circle of friends. Nevertheless, Google will now be able to use your profile photos, as well as your names and opinions, to promote a product.
We all remember the controversy that Facebook sparked with its use of personal photos for private companies’ ads that could appear on the social network without their owners’ knowledge. Google is taking this a step further and can generate an ad with your profile photo and name on all Internet sites.
What it does
Imagine that you’re looking for your favorite book, either to buy it online or simply to find out how much it costs. Google automatically saves this record to generate ads the prompt people to buy what you were looking for.
Thus, if you’ve clicked +1 on something or given a rating to a particular product, any user will be able to see your photo, your name, and your rating right there in the ad created after you’ve searched for that thing. Meaning that Google will add personal details to all the ratings you’ve given to any of the products it advertises.
How to avoid it
The tech giant is justifying itself on the basis that not everyone in the world will be able to see your information in the ads provided that you’ve configured your privacy settings on the social network so that only your friends can see these photos. In other words, if only your friends can see your Facebook profile, only your friends will be able to read your opinions on Google ads.
Configuring your privacy settings is a good step if you want only your friends to be able to see you, but what if you don’t want anyone to see your opinions? Google offers users the option to keep your photo from being published in any ad; you just have to click on this link.
You’ll need to untick the box that says, “Based on my activity, Google can display my name and profile photo in the shared recommendations that appear in ads.” By deactivating this option, you’ll deny Google the right to use your photo, name, and rating.