Google is cracking down on technology advertised for spying on other people, including intimate partner surveillance systems. The ban will go into effect next month when Google updates its policies, prohibiting advertisers from promoting any services or products that are intended for monitoring another person. There will be, however, some important exceptions to this rule.
Google announced the new policy on its support website this month, stating that it will start actively enforcing it on August 11. The change applies globally and covers services and products designed for monitoring another person without their awareness or permission, according to Google, which will make allowances for certain ads.
The company says that this new policy doesn’t apply to products and services targeted at parents that will be used to monitor minors — these apps are common on the app store and can include things like digital wellbeing products and parent control apps. As well, this policy doesn’t apply to advertising private investigation services.
the policy does explicitly cover products and services intended to keep an eye on someone else, including the spyware one may use to monitor a partner or spouse. These include things like GPS trackers marketed as a way to track someone without their knowledge, various surveillance equipment sold for spying, and similar things.
Google notes that advertisers who violate the new policy will be given a warning at least seven days before any actions are taken against the account and that accounts won’t be suspended before a warning is given. Advertisers have until August 11 to remove any violating ads they may have on the platform.