You can post. But you can't hide.
A day after Facebook said that is planned to make it harder for its users to prevent others from finding them in a search of their site, Google announced on Friday that it plans to use information and posts by its users in ads it sells to businesses.
The two moves have intensified already growing complaints that such companies are giving people less and less control over what is done with their information.
Google, which said it is interested in using its customers’ name, photo and product reviews in ads that it sells to businesses, is changing its terms of service starting Nov. 11.
Your reviews of restaurants, shops and products, as well as songs and other content bought on the Google Play store could show up in ads that are displayed to your friends, connections and the broader public when they search on Google. The company calls that feature "shared endorsements."
Google laid out an example of how this could happen: "Katya Klinova," her face and five-star review appear underneath an ad for Summertime Spas.
You can opt out of sharing your reviews.
Privacy advocates are up in arms.
The New York Times noted: “The problem, privacy advocates say, is when Web companies use or display the personal information of users in ways the authors did not expect when they originally posted it.”
“People expect when they give information, it’s for a single use, the obvious one,” said Dr. Deborah C. Peel, a psychoanalyst and founder of Patient Privacy Rights, an advocacy group, according to The New York Times. “That’s why the widening of something you place online makes people unhappy. It feels to them like a breach, a boundary violation.”
“We set our own boundaries,” she added. “We don’t want them set by the government or Google or Facebook."
In August, Facebook said it would show users' faces and names in ads about products they clicked to "like." That proposal was criticized by privacy groups. They asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into the matter, which the agency said it did as part of routine monitoring of privacy practices.
Google said Friday that the name and photo you use in its social network, Google Plus, is the one that would appear in the ad. Google has said the social network has 390 million active users per month.
"We want to give you — and your friends and connections — the most useful information. Recommendations from people you know can really help," the company said in an explanation of the changes.
The Mountain View, Calif., company already had a similar setting for its "+1" button, which it introduced in 2011. It had experimented temporarily with putting "+1" endorsements with users' identities in ads, but it hasn't had them up recently. The company said Friday that the choice a user made about allowing for "+1" endorsements would be the default setting for shared endorsements.
Also, if a user chooses to limit an endorsement to certain circles of friends or contacts, that restriction will be respected in any ads that use the endorsement.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.