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Google Updates Policies to Reject Ads for Spyware

Google this week announced that, starting next month, an update to its policy will effectively result in the rejection of ads for surveillance technology.

Google this week announced that, starting next month, an update to its policy will effectively result in the rejection of ads for surveillance technology.

The updated Google Ads Enabling Dishonest Behavior policy, which will “prohibit the promotion of products or services that are marketed or targeted with the express purpose of tracking or monitoring another person or their activities without their authorization,” will be enforced starting August 11, 2020, the Internet giant announced.

In an effort to fight the advertising of spyware and other forms of surveillance, Google will apply the policy globally.

Such technology, the company explains, involves the use of spyware, malware, and other means of monitoring a person’s messages, phone calls, or browsing habits, or to keep an eye on their whereabouts using GPS trackers.

Additionally, Google’s updated policy will also hit the promotion of surveillance equipment such as audio recorders, cameras, dash cams and nanny cams that are being “marketed with the express purpose of spying.”

“This does not include (a) private investigation services or (b) products or services designed for parents to track or monitor their underage children,” the company explains.

Should any violations of the updated policy be identified, Google will initially issue a warning, and it will proceed to suspend offending accounts within 7 days.

Advertisers are advised to remove any ads that would result in a violation of the policy, before August 11.

Related: Google Removes 600 Android Apps for Displaying Disruptive Ads

Related: Google ‘Task Force’ Fights Bad COVID-19 Ads

Related: Morocco Asks Amnesty for Proof It Used Spyware on Journalist

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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