It seemed like the evil empire in which we can’t help but be personally invested in couldn’t make me feel any dirtier. But, yes, Google is about to outdo itself.
Starting on November 11, the company will start using your actual face on products you've rated while logged into your Google account. Yes, that includes times you just forgot to log out of your Gmail and kept surfing the web.
Maybe it just comes with the turf when the world’s largest search engine updates its terms of service every few months. Here is how they framed the change on a company blog post:
We want to give you – and your friends and connections – the most useful information. Recommendations from people you know can really help. So your friends, family and others may see your Profile name and photo, and content like the reviews you share or the ads you +1’d. This only happens when you take an action (things like +1’ing, commenting or following) – and the only people who see it are the people you’ve chosen to share that content with. On Google, you’re in control of what you share. This update to our Terms of Service doesn’t change in any way who you’ve shared things with in the past or your ability to control who you want to share things with in the future.
Feedback from people you know can save you time and improve results for you and your friends across all Google services, including Search, Maps, Play and in advertising. For example, your friends might see that you rated an album 4 stars on the band’s Google Play page. And the +1 you gave your favorite local bakery could be included in an ad that the bakery runs through Google. We call these recommendations shared endorsements and you can learn more about them here.
It’s funny because outside of the freaky, fast and fun world of the internet, inaction can never constitute as agreeing to a contract. But since you already probably skimmed through the TOS and clicked “I Agree," the burden is on you to actively opt out.
So if my family disowns me because of the crap I've inadvertently recommended to my stupid friends, you’ll know why. Thanks Google!
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.