October 15, 2013, 1:08 PM — Ugh. Google has announced its "shared endorsements" feature: The company's plan to attach Google+ users' names and photos to ads and use their activity in "other promotional contexts." You can opt out of this.
Image credit: Google
The purpose, according to Google, is to help friends and others find cool stuff online, so it will turn your Google+ activity (reviews, +1s, follows, and shares) into endorsements. I'm all for sharing things with my social circles and recommending stuff I love, but having my name and photo attached to ads in search results and plastered all over Google isn't my idea of sharing.
Some people like or follow things on Google+ for work or to get important updates--including on things that users might want to keep private or at least not shared with the internet at large. Others are just angry at the commercial use of their identities (and using Eric Schmidt's face on Google+ in protest).
You don't have to change your profile pic to Schmidt's. To opt out of shared endorsements, head to this Google+ settings page, uncheck "Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads", and hit Save.
It's terrible that this is opt-out rather than opt-in, but at least you have this option. [h/t Jason Chen]
Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.