Google has announced a change in its Terms of Service that will give the search giant the right to use profile names and photos of the users in certain parts of its advertising. Named as Shared Endorsements, the new feature will impact Google+ users and Page owners on November 11.
Google has sent out an email "An update for Google+ Page Owners and Managers" to all the Google+ Page owners and managers to inform them about the change to the Terms of Service. So, post November 11, Google may use your Page's name, actions, and photos, unless you choose to opt out.
Google has also shared an example of how the change would work in the email. It says:
"If your Page publicly follows another Page, Google may surface this action with your Page’s name and photo when relevant and helpful to users, including in ads".
Here's the email that we received today:
We're writing to let you know that we will be updating Google's Terms of Service on November 11, 2013; you can read a summary of the coming changes here. We've also added a new setting that gives you more control over where your Page's name, photo and actions appear on Google and across the web.
We've updated Google's Terms of Service, including changes that apply to Google's use of your Page's name, photo and actions.
Google+ is designed to enable your content to be discovered, for example, by surfacing contextually relevant content or actions when they might be of interest to others. We call these recommendations 'shared endorsements'. The changes to the Terms clarify details about how your Page's name, photo and relevant activity may appear in shared endorsements. For example, if your Page publicly follows another Page, Google may surface this action with your Page's name and photo when relevant and helpful to users, including in ads.
You're in control of what you share on Google. Your Page sharing settings are not affected and, as always, if you've shared something with a limited audience, we respect that.
What Can I Do?
The new Shared Endorsements setting lets you control how your Page's name, photo and the actions you take (such as +1's, reviews you write, or comments you post) may appear in advertising. This setting does not affect other places your Page's name and photo may appear. You can access this setting from your Page's Dashboard and may change it any time. If you turn the setting off, you may not be able to use certain features until you re- enable it.
The changes to the Terms will be effective as of November 11, 2013. If you do not take any action, the Shared Endorsements setting will be turned on.
Where Can I Learn More?
To learn more about these updates for Google+ Pages, you can review the updated Google Terms of Service as well as the Google+ Help Center.
Please also read the updated Google+ Pages Additional Terms of Service
The Google+ Team
If you do not want to let Google use your data, you will have to opt out on November 11. Google has also said that the new setting won't affect other places where you name or photo is appearing, which means that opt out is not universal and that Page owners will have to be alert about the future changes.