Google may start spitting out some very familiar-looking search results. That's because the online giant plans to follow in the footsteps of Facebook by generating ads that use your name, photos, ratings, and comments to promote various products and pages. For instance, explains the New York Times, if you followed and rated a bakery on Google+, your photo, name, and endorsement could show up in an ad for that bakery—not just on Google, but on any site using its ad network. Google says you will be able to opt-out of the program—which starts November 11—and it will automatically exclude minors, but the news has still been badly received by many.
"People expect when they give information, it’s for a single use, the obvious one," a privacy advocate tells the Times. "That’s why the widening of something you place online makes people unhappy. It feels to them like a breach, a boundary violation." Besides that, it may not even be legal, says an electronic privacy group. "It's a commercial endorsement without consent and that is not permissible in most states in the US," an Electronic Privacy Information Center rep tells the Wall Street Journal. If you want to opt-out, it's a simple enough process, explains CNN—just uncheck one box in your Google+ settings—though it won't stop you seeing your friends' faces all over the web.