Changes to Google and Facebook Privacy Settings


Here are two new social media privacy developments from Google and Facebook.

First from Google: starting November 11 Google will start displaying your profile picture and comments publically in advertisements for any product that you comment on or “follow”. Google is primarily an advertising company offering free services, thus this move makes sense from their standpoint. You on the other hand may not like your name and face publically endorsing the latest medical or health product.

If you wish that your name and picture are not associated with advertising here is how to opt-out of their Google Shared Endorsements program:

From Sophos:

  1. Sign into your Google account. If you’re in the process of setting up an account, finish that first, then come back.
  2. Go to the Shared Endorsements setting page. If you’re not already a Google+ user, you will be asked to upgrade your account.
  3. Toward the bottom, you’ll see a checkbox that says “Based on my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.”
  4. Uncheck it and click Save to opt out of the new program.

Second from Facebook: Facebook Search is now able to search through every post you ever made on Facebook. Do you remember what you said six years ago about that party you attended? No, then now it may be time to cleanse your profile. Check out your Activity Log and see what is available to the public.

Next, Facebook is removing the ability to remain hidden and unsearchable by name. Previously you could choose not to be searched by name on Facebook. This ability to remain hidden was a great asset for people who wished to protect their identity for personal reasons or to remain hidden from stalkers and harassment. Unfortunately there is not much you can do to prevent this other than changing or removing your profile picture and changing your name (a violation of Facebooks Terms of Service).

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