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Google Plans to Use User Photos, Names in Advertisements

Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Starting next month, Google may include photos of its users in advertisements without asking for permission.

On Friday, Google users may have seen a bright blue warning on the search giant's home page informing them that, beginning Nov. 11, Google may display their names, profile photos, ratings and reviews in advertisements. The program is part of what Google is calling "shared endorsements."

Any user over the age of 18 can have their information used in this new advertising plan, says the Wall Street Journal. Google's website calls the shared endorsements an easy way to get "great recommendations from your friends."

Users can choose not to allow their name and/or photograph in the endorsements in ads, however.

Google previously included endorsements when users selected "+1" -- Google's equivalent of the Facebook "like" button -- however, those endorsements can now be used for ads for the Google Play music store or restaurant reviews, says the Wall Street Journal. The endorsement program may even go so far as to include third-party applications.

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