Google Ads for Products that track People will be Banned

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The new ban will be effective for all advertisers globally starting next month. 

Image credit: Search Engine Land, products with prohibited ads

Google is implementing a restriction on ads specifically regarding spyware and surveillance technology beginning this August. Google explained the updates on the Enabling Dishonesty Behavior policy. The blog post explained that Google will prohibit ads on products and services that are targeted at monitoring and tracking peoples’ activities without their permission. The policy update is applicable to spyware and technology that includes tech that monitors texts, phone calls, and browsing history. For Example, this would include GPS trackers that spy people without authorization such as cameras, dash cams, nanny cams, audio recorders, and the like. 

Enabling Dishonest Behavior policy

The changes will be implemented starting on August 11, 2020. The update doesn’t include two parties: private investigation services and products and services that are meant for parents to monitor their underage kids. 

A study on the ecosystem of intimate partner surveillance in 2018 revealed that thousands of Google ads appear in searches related to terms with the explicit aim of conducting surveillance. Term searches including: 

“Track my Wife’s Phone”

“how to track my husband”

“Track your wife without her knowing”

Google spokesperson told CNBC that it’s continually updating their ad policies and have been restricting ads related to searches related to ones related above. The site is updating its language to ensure that violators are caught. At the moment, Google has already prohibited ads that promote products and services that allow users to have unauthorized access to properties and devices. However, with the new dishonest behavior policy update coming next month, the ads prohibition will be expanded and will affect more products/services. 

Google will have to make the policy more foolproof as many spyware providers have changed their marketing strategy and list their products under child-monitoring apps. 

What does this mean for you?

Google aims to make its ads platform a safe market for brands and other businesses. The tech-giant has limited ads from appearing into surveillance-related searches. This previous effort is now expanded to other services and products. For businesses that market these products, you may need to have them removed from your Google Ads accounts before August 11, otherwise, Google will remove those campaigns from your product feeds. Failure to do so would mean account suspension. Google will send you a notification and warning seven days before it will suspend your accounts. 

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