Google said it would no longer approve advertisements for goods or services sold without their authorization to track or watch any user.
Google confirmed that would extend in an ad policy change to spyware and devices used for romantic relationship monitoring, like software used to track emails, phone calls as well as browser history. It also refers to GPS trackers sold without their permission to spy on others; along with monitoring devices such as sensors, audio recorders, dash cams and nanny cams advertised for spying purposes.
Google stated that it would not extend to private investigative companies as well as parents’ goods and services to track or watch their underage children. The modification of the regulation “Enabling Unethical Conduct” will be applied from August 11.
In 2018, a group of researchers performing a report on the romantic partner monitoring spyware network noticed thousands of Google advertisements appearing for search keywords indicating clear intent to perform monitoring.
The ads discovered included“How to catch a cheating spouse with his cell phone”; as well as “Track My Wife’s Phone — Want to Spy on your Wife? Track your Wife without her knowing. Discover Who Are They messaging. Download! 24-Hour Support Price Superiority No Jailbreaking and App Results Guaranteed.”
Throughout the report , the researchers said Google had begun to ban advertisements; for search words of certain kinds. At the time the study was published ads were not displayed on explicit search terms for intimate partner surveillance.
“We constantly evaluate and update our ad policies to ensure we are protecting users,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “We routinely update our language; with examples to help clarify what we consider policy violating. Spyware technology for partner surveillance was always in scope of our policies against dishonest behavior.”
According to Google, the company’s advertising policies also forbid the marketing of goods and services; that enable a consumer to obtain unauthorized access to applications; computers or properties; but this amendment updates the policy wording to involve the marketing of spyware; as well as tracking technologies that prevent unauthorized access to devices from intimate partners, Google said.