Will Google’s new ‘Shared Endorsements’ affect you?

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endorsements3-a72e63259d52f7f5e8f00cd3bd6c787eProbably not. As expected, the backlash in tabloid tech blogs and news websites over Google’s new ‘Shared Endorsements’ system has been overwhelming, but also misinformed.

Google today will begin enforcing their new Terms of Service for all Google+ users over the age of 18, allowing the company to present your Google+ name, photo and endorsements throughout its advertising network.

However, as is usually the case with Google coverage, the privacy angle of this change has been put under the ‘spotlight’ with a range of writers taking advantage of the situation to create a tone of fear over what is essentially the sharing of your public reviews and recommendations with friends. So, for example, if you +1 or review Katy Perry’s new album on Google Play Music, and her label suddenly wants to buy Google Search ads for the album, your +1 or review can now be shown to your Google+ friends alongside the ad.

If you don’t review that album, or +1 it, Google will not just randomly be putting your face and name alongside it. And it will not be putting your likeness in public advertisements.

And despite the headlines, the fact is that if you did review something, it’s already public. Google is just taking it out of isolation and putting it alongside an ad of the same product. And you can still opt-out, just in case you’re scared of what your friends will think of your already public restaurant recommendation. But, after all, it’s Google, so for some reason it’s been portrayed as creepy.

Whatever gets the clicks, I guess. You can find the updated Terms of Service here, or Opt-Out here.