As of November 11 this year, Google Shared Endorsements are to go ahead as Google recently announced a change to its Terms of Service. Basically Shared Endorsements will mean that your profile name and photo could be displayed next to advertisements and reviews. This will be visible to your connections and could be as a result of you giving a rating to a restaurant on Google Maps or giving a +1 on Google Play.
For example, say a contact of yours searches ‘Sushi Restaurants’ and you have reviewed or rated a local restaurant, the advertisement for that restaurant may show up along with your review, name and profile picture.
Given that its only being seen by your contacts and is only showing things you have already ‘endorsed’, the chances are that many people won’t really mind, however remember how unimpressed Facebook users were to find that they had been endorsing products to their friends without knowing it – that lawsuit has only recently been settled. Many users simply don’t like having their profile used to promote sponsored links without their explicit consent.
Some users have raised the concern that old comments or ratings may be used that were placed at a time when the online landscape was different – these may now be used in a completely different context than what they were intended back then.
It is up to you as to what you are comfortable with, but if you would prefer not to show up in Shared Endorsements, there is a very simple way to ensure that you don’t;
1. Go into your Google Plus account and click on the ‘Settings’ option on the left toolbar.
2. Click ‘Edit’ on the Shared Endorsements and scroll down to uncheck the box that says ‘Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads’.
3. Save your changes. Once saved you have opted out of Shared Endorsements.