The University of St. Thomas

For Gmail users, if you do not want your name or photo to appear in ads, act now…

Published on: Friday, October 25th, 2013

Google Announced (Announcement is here) that November 11, 2013, Google can use your name or photo on ads. If you object to it, the time to act is now. You can control whether your image and name appear in ads via the Shared Endorsements setting. Click Here and after you log in, uncheck the enable my photo and name to appear in ads option and then submit. Google will try to persuade you one last time by lamenting that your friends will not be able to get the benefit of your recommendation. It is your call. I unchecked it.

On a related note, the contents you uploaded onto Google, while you retain the ownership of them, Google has the right to use them in any derivative way it chooses. Read the Terms of Services here. In other words, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Stored Communications Act, and other Acts, etc, that aim to protect your online privacy will be of no utility to you if you want to stop Google to use your content. Free service comes with a string. In Chinese, we say, you owe the other side a favor after you have taken a favor from him. Well, the exact Chinese, if literally translated, would be: your hand is short now after you have taken what is theirs.

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