Google and Facebook are getting to be more and more like each other when it comes to taking advantage of user information. Google announced today that it will show a +1 and picture of the friend who gave the recommendation in ads and searches. These are called “shared endorsements.” Google does offer a mechanism to opt out. There is a check box in Google Account settings that reads “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.” The box is checked by default. Unchecking it prevents sharing. Press reports on the new setting are in PC Magazine and ZDNet. The new setting goes into effect on November 11.
Facebook is making a change to privacy settings on the social network as well. It is removing the ability for an individual to hide their timeline from search by name. Facebook had eliminated the setting a while back for those who had not selected it. This action now removes the opt-out for the less than 1% of accounts that selected it, calling it “and old search setting.” The site suggests using other privacy settings to limit information that can be seen by others. I can image there are indignant individuals who use Facebook but resent the lack of control over privacy. Then there are individuals who have genuine privacy concerns, such as hiding from stalkers or abusive ex-’s. The report in Ars Technica has the details.