Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Google wants to sell the likeness of users to advertisers to be sent around the Internet.  On Friday, Google announced a change to its terms and services that let the company use its users’ actual names, photos and comments in advertising.

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The policy goes into effect November 11th and Google will be able to show the ads on more than 2 million sites that Google endorses.  These sites add up to about 1 billion eyes on your information.

If you like a product on Google +, or rate that new jazz album, your name and picture could appear in online ads for that product or album.  Google is giving users the chance to opt out of the changes, while people under the age of 18 are automatically exempt.

Such advertisings, with real-world endorsements, could be a powerful form of branding and advertising with the digital recommendation coming from your friends and family.

Google has begun to experience a backlash, as Facebook did, with users feeling very strongly about being in ads without explicate permission.  These ‘shared endorsements’ are the latest in the changing scope of advertising.  There is a push from Google, Facebook and other companies to have user data personalize the online experience, and that includes personalized ads.

While the service could effectively introduce users to new products, websites, or restaurants, many suggest it is unfair for companies to use real people in ads without payment or explicit consent.

[Via The Globe and Mail]

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