How to keep your real name and face out of Google’s ads

The journey was long and full of baby steps, but we’ve finally reached the destination: Google updated its terms of service on Friday to allow the company to slap your real name and face alongside ads, under an expansion of its “shared endorsements” program.

Getting here took a while, and it took a slow expansion of the Google+ social service.

First, Google+ users had to sign up for the service with their real names, rather than pseudonyms. Next, all new Google Accounts—even if you only wanted Gmail—required you to sign up for Google+. Then, back in May, Google began coaxing veteran YouTubersinto adopting Google+ accounts, and a few weeks ago, the company announced that allYouTube comments will be powered exclusively by Google+.

Google+ integration throughout Google’s services seemed pretty handy at first. When searching the Play Store, the power of “shared endorsements” showed you when your friendsa given app (not unlike what iOS and OS X users see when looking for game recommendations in Apple’s Game Center app). When searching the web, Google+ identified when your buddies +1’d a given site. Now, Google’s bringing your real name, face, reviews, and comments to Search ads across the web.

 

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