Since the 2016 U.S. election, tech companies across the spectrum have faced criticism for how platforms were used by nefarious actors to possibly manipulate outcomes. Google today is announcing new advertising transparency policies after committing to them last year.
Similar to moves by Facebook, Google is now requiring additional verification by requesting a government-issued ID and other key information for anyone purchasing a U.S. election ad on its platform. Ads will additionally need to include a disclosure of who is paying in order to help ordinary people know the context.
Later this summer and heading into the midterms, a new election ads-focused Transparency Report will use that above information to detail who is buying political ads and how much money is being spent. A searchable library of ads will also make it easier for researchers to sift through.
Meanwhile, another key aspect is preventing politicians, campaign staff, and journalists from getting hacked. Just yesterday, Google announced that its Advanced Protection Program now works with the default iOS Mail, Calendar, and Contacts app.
We’re investing heavily in keeping our own platforms secure and working with campaigns, elections officials, journalists, and others to help ensure the security of the online platforms that they depend on.
However, it is also working with Alphabet’s Jigsaw online security think-tank on what it calls Protect Your Election tools “specifically tailored for people who are at particularly high risk of online attacks.”