Beginning next month, the company will take user images Google+ along with comments posted on the website to promote its services. The company has posted alerts about the new policy on the website and indicates that users who don’t want to be featured in commercials can choose not to participate, the BBC notes.
However, the “shared endorsements” policy isn’t sitting well with many Google+ users. A number of them have begun substituting their own profile pictures with an image of Google chairman Eric Schmidt in protest of the policy.
A similar program by Facebook (FB) in 2011 resulted in user protests and litigation, ultimately forcing the social media giant to pay $20 million to users whose images had been used without their consent.
Google+ users who do not participate in the program could see some of their comments become invisible to other viewers.
Shares of Google edged slightly higher in Monday mid-day trading.