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Google prohibits ads for services that secretly track and monitor people

The Google logo shows the Eiffel Tower on the Google campus in Mountain View, CA.

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Google says that ads for products or services that are marketed to track or monitor someone else without their permission will no longer be allowed.

In an update to its ad policies, Google said this applies to spyware and technologies used to monitor partners, including technologies that monitor text, phone calls, or browsing history. This also applies to GPS trackers, which are marketed to spy on someone without their consent, and to surveillance devices such as cameras, audio recorders, dash cams and nanny cams, which are marketed for the purpose of espionage.

According to Google, private investigation services and products and services for parents to track or monitor their minor children do not apply. The “Activate Dishonest Behavior”

; policy update will be enforced from August 11th.

In 2018, a group of researchers who conducted a study of the spyware ecosystem for monitoring intimate partners found that thousands of Google ads were shown for search terms that explicitly intended to be monitored.

Adverts discovered included: “How to Catch a Fraudulent Spouse Using Your Cell Phone” and “Chasing My Wife’s Phone – Want to Spy on Your Wife? Track Your Wife Without Her Knowing. Discover Who She Is. Download ! 24-hour support Price superiority No jailbreaking and app results guaranteed. “

The researchers said in the study that Google had started restricting ads for these types of keywords. At the time of the study’s publication, no ads were shown on explicit search terms for partner monitoring.

Google didn’t immediately send back a request for a comment that was allowed ads before this latest policy update on Friday.

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