On Friday, October 18th Google announced an update to their terms of service, which goes into affect on November 11th, 2013. The new terms include three basic changes, which involve privacy and security. The changes cover how you can:
- Control whether or not your name and image appears in ads.
- Ensure password confidentiality.
- Use your mobile devices safely.
While the new changes are subtle, they’ll affect all Google account users. The following are some additional details about the new Terms of Service:
- Profile Name and Photo Appearance
Your profile name and photo are visible to your friends, family, and other connections, as well as content such as reviews shared or ads +1’d. However, content is only visible when you’ve taken an action. The people you’ve chosen to share content with are the only ones who can view your actions. In this way, you’re completely in control of what you choose to share.
With Feedback from people you know, you can also to improve results across all Google services, including Search, Play, and Maps. With shared endorsements in ads, can control the use of your Profile name and photo.
In order to avoid having your Profile name and photo appear in ads, turn the shared endorsements setting “off.” For users under the age of 18, actions won’t appear in shared endorsements in ads, and various other contexts.
It’s important to avoid sharing your login credentials with anyone. When asked for your password, reconsider and find another secure way to share information.
Google will send an “unusual activity alert” in the event of unordinary activity, such as failed attempts, or two logins to your account within a short period of time. Google also recommends two-step verification and application-specific passwords for maximum protection.
Google is using a proactive approach to remind people of the importance of being cautious about their digital identities, specifically on mobile devices. They recommend using common sense when it comes to Google services, which means not using services while driving, or partaking in any activity that requires your full attention. Of course, this term is partially to remove Google from any potential liability. However, you must be aware and responsible for your own online activity.