Google Ads: Does this new policy invade our privacy?

Beginning Nov. 11, if you have a profile or gmail account with Google, they may display your name, profile photos, ratings and reviews in ads as part of what it is calling “shared endorsements.” That’s right, Google is taking a cue from other social networks and incorporating information from user profiles into advertisements on Google’s Adwords network.

For instance: if you recently gave a +1 or reviewed a local doctor’s office that you had a good experience at, and that doctor’s office runs an ad, then your review may be affiliated with that advertisement.

According the WSJ, where we found this news – By default, Google users’ information, ratings and reviews can be included in social advertisements, though Google gives users the option to opt out and to change their ratings and reviews at any time.

Other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have done this for years. When you’re on Facebook, it’s quite common for you to see your friends who are connected with or “like” a sponsored service or fan page.

…..But this is…(in my squinty-eyed, high pitched voice) a little different. On social networks like Facebook and Twitter, all the advertising appears to be done within the network itself. What it sounds like Google is suggesting, displays information outside of a social network such as Google Plus, and just on the net in general. So it’s no surprise that Electronic Privacy Information Center aren’t in agreement with Google’s new approach.

So what are your thoughts? Are you for or against this type of advertising? And remember, there’s two ways to look at it — through the eyes of the consumer or through the eyes of the advertiser.



image: WSJ