One of the reasons I quit Facebook was the lack of control over my own data. I’d go in to my privacy settings and carefully set them to “private” the way I wanted them, only to have Facebook decide a week later to change many of my settings to “public” in a global policy move. It wasn’t worth the wasted time for me. I believe you can’t always predict what you will wish you had kept private later, particularly since what your acquaintances share becomes part of your data – it’s impossible to control on a granular basis.

Now Google appears to be heading down the same road with Shared Endorsements – recommendations from your friends. Whenever one of your Google Plus friends +1s any product or service capable of being advertised, you may end up seeing their face and review in a google ad – on any site where google ads are shown.

screenshot 2013-10-13 at 10-13-13  - 11.30.57 AM .jpg

To their credit Google did notify me, but I didn’t see either notification right away. Their email notification got buried in my inbox, and their online notification didn’t get noticed for several days. Since the default setting is that you permit them to use your data in ads, shared endorsements don’t get turned off unless you choose to do it once you’ve seen the message.

2013-10-11_15-49-27.jpg

Turning the notifications off is pretty easy so far: just visit this page:

https://plus.google.com/settings/endorsements?hl=en

I’m not ready to quit Google Plus yet, but this was definitely a strike against the service for me.

Resources