Facebook and Google change their privacy policies (again)

Surprised Time to check your settings on your social networks again.Both Facebook and Google are making changes that will definitely affect your privacy.

Facebook policy changes
Facebook is rolling out a change to your privacy settings. You’ll no longer have the option to hide your account from Facebook’s graph search service. Who cares? Not that many people really but if you are trying to hide your profile from say, a domestic abuser or harasser, you’re out of luck.

What can you do?
If you don’t already do it now you should start controlling who sees your posts.

  • Check your privacy settings.
  • Create lists of trusted friends, co-workers and share with those lists directly.
  • Only post to be viewed by “public” for content that can be seen by anyone.
  • Hide your personal information like address, phone, birth date, etc.
  • Turn off access to other search engines
  • Turn off the feature to let people look you up by email address or phone
  • Click the link to your activity log and see what you’ve been sharing. You might find some surprises!
google endorsements

Image courtesy Google

Now for Google changing their terms of service
Google seems to be taking a page from Facebook who b uses user profiles to recommend content to your friends. They’re calling them Shared Endorsements. Google sez: “To help your friends and others find cool stuff online, your activity (such as reviews, +1s, follows, shares, etc.) may be used along with your name and photo in commercial or other promotional contexts.”

Basically that means that if you’ve recommended a location or product your profile image and a quote from you can appear next to that item in a search influencing your friends family and random strangers.

If you don’t opt OUT of this service then you’ll be considered opted in. To opt out go here and un-check “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.” then click save. Note, you may need to log in first and if you don’t have a Google profile already this may not apply to you. It also will not display the shared endorsements from anyone under the age of 18. While you’re there check the rest of your privacty settings!


  1. Hi Janet,

    Always seems to be something new on the FB and Google horizon. Monstrous companies like these are tweaking, changing, editing, and more updates seem to be privacy related.

    Thanks for the helpful share.

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