Google to ban discriminatory advertisements targeting housing, job and credit card

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jun 12, 2020, 04:18 PM(IST)

Google Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The latest policy decision, which will take effect by the end of the year, comes after the widespread protests against racial discrimination following the custodial death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tech giant Google announced on Thursday that it is updating its advertising policies to prevent housing, employment, and credit card advertisers from targeting users based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, and ZIP Code. 

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The latest policy decision, which will take effect by the end of the year, comes after the widespread protests against racial discrimination following the custodial death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Almost a year ago, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charged Facebook Inc for selling discriminatory housing ads and said it was looking into similar concerns about Google and Twitter Inc.

Google and Facebook together account for just over half of internet ad sales globally, making their policy actions influential in the industry.

"We had been working constructively with HUD on these issues since last year, and our timeline has not been driven by current events," Google spokesperson Elijah Lawal said.

In a press release on Thursday, HUD encouraged other online ad sellers to follow Google's action. Twitter said it had no policy updates to share.

Google had previously barred advertisers from choosing ad targets based on users' race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. But researchers investigating discrimination have said advertisers could still use other data to exclude lower-income individuals and racial minorities from their potential customer pool.

“We will also continue to work with HUD, civil rights and housing experts, and the broader advertising industry to address concerns around discrimination in ad targeting,” the company wrote. “Google is committed to working with the broader advertising ecosystem to help set high standards for online advertising, and we will continue to strive to set policies that improve inclusion and access for users.”

(With inputs from Reuters)

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