Summary of changes
The Google Terms of Service was updated on 11 November 2013.
Because many of you are allergic to legalese, here’s a plain English summary for your convenience.
We've made three changes:
- Firstly, clarifying how your Profile name and photo might appear in Google products (including in reviews, advertising and other commercial contexts).
- You can control whether your image and name appear in ads via the Shared Endorsements setting.
- Secondly, a reminder to use your mobile devices safely.
- Thirdly, details on the importance of keeping your password confidential.
Here are some more details:
How your Profile name and photo may appear (including in reviews and advertising)
We want to give you, and your friends and connections, the most useful information. Recommendations from people that you know can really help. So your friends, family and others may see your Profile name and photo, and content like the reviews that you share or the ads that you +1’d. This only happens when you take an action (things like +1’ing, commenting or following) – and the only people who see it are the people that you’ve chosen to share that content with. On Google, you’re in control of what you share. This update to our Terms of Service doesn't change in any way who you’ve shared things with in the past or your ability to control who you want to share things with in the future.
Feedback from people you know can save you time and improve results for you and your friends across all Google services, including Search, Maps, Play and in advertising. For example, your friends might see that you rated an album 4 stars on the band’s Google Play page. And the +1 you gave your favourite local bakery could be included in an ad that the bakery runs through Google. We call these recommendations shared endorsements and you can learn more about them here.
When it comes to shared endorsements in ads, you can control the use of your Profile name and photo via the Shared Endorsements setting. If you turn the setting to “off,” your Profile name and photo will not show up on that ad for your favourite bakery or any other ads. This setting only applies to use in ads, and doesn't change whether your Profile name or photo may be used in other places such as Google Play.
If you previously told Google that you did not want your +1’s to appear in ads, then of course we’ll continue to respect that choice as a part of this updated setting. For users under 18, their actions won’t appear in shared endorsements in ads and certain other contexts.
Use your mobile devices safely
It’s just good common sense: Don’t use our services if you’re doing something that requires your full attention, like driving, and our services might distract you. And, of course, always follow the law while driving.
Be careful with your password
Our top priority is keeping your information safe and secure. Your Google username and password let you access lots of useful things – your Gmail messages, Google+ photos, YouTube videos, Google Contacts list and more. Anyone you give your login details to could use them to access your Google Account and the stuff you store with Google. So if you’re asked for your password, think twice and consider whether there might be safer and more secure ways to share the information.
If we see something out of the ordinary (such as if we notice failed attempts to login to your account, or two logins to your account within a short time frame, but from computers located very far away from each other) you may see an unusual activity alert.
Learn about other ways to keep your Google Account secure, including adding 2-Step Verification.
Thank you for making it to the end of this page – we know this stuff can be dry, but we think it is important. To see how the terms apply to you, please check out the Terms of Service for your country.