Google to use names, photos in ads

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"We want to give you – and your friends and connections – the most useful information," Google said. "Recommendations from people you know can really help."

The changes to the company's terms of service are set to go into effect on Nov. 11. Users can block their information from being used in ads by adjusting the settings in Google's "shared endorsements" page.

The move follows in the footsteps of Facebook, which already includes people's personal information in "sponsored story" ads to their friends. Facebook's policy resulted in a class action lawsuit, which claimed that the social network changed its privacy practices without properly notifying users.

Facebook paid $20 million to settle the suit and has proposed clarifying its privacy policy to explicitly allow the use of names and photos in ads. 

But privacy groups complained to the Federal Trade Commission, and Facebook has delayed the implementation of the new policy.

Due to previous privacy violations by Facebook and Google, the FTC monitors both companies' privacy practices. Future violations could result in hefty fines.