Facebook, which has 1.15 billion users already runs similar endorsement ads parsing anything you have ever ‘Liked’ or commented on and serving them as advertisements to your friends. Some users including myself in protest have responded by changing their Facebook usernames, images, and personal information to make it harder for these networks to use them for profit.
Users under 18 will be exempt from the ads and users on the Google+ social network will have the ability to opt out.
Both companies have characterized these changes as minor updates. They are, though, the latest example of the continual and often unwelcomed push by Internet companies to collate your personal information shared online in an unending grasp to profit from you.
Google and Facebook say that with these most recent changes, they are trying to offer users more comprehensive and personalized services. The problem, privacy advocates say, is Internet companies are using and displaying the personal information of users in ways the authors did not expect when they originally posted it.
Unfortunately my friends I believe that this is only the beginning. As Twitter prepares to go public and faces pressures to become profitable, it too will increasingly need to figure out how to make money from the information it collects. Now I can't help but wonder how long before your posts to any website will become fair game for marketers?
Google's latest terms of service change will go live on November 11.