Google he said this week ban ads that promote stalkerware, spyware and other forms of surveillance that may be used to track third parties without their consent.
The change was announced this week as part of an upcoming update to Google Ads policies, which will take effect next month, from August 11, 2020.
Examples of products and services that can no longer be promoted by advertisers through Google Ads include:
- Spyware and technology used to closely monitor affiliates, such as software that can be used to track text, phone calls, or browsing history.
- Commercially available GPS trackers specifically for spying or tracking someone without their consent.
- Promotion of commercially available surveillance equipment (cameras, sound recorders, cameras, baby cameras) for surveillance purposes.
Google has stated that private research services or products designed for parents to watch or their minor children will not be banned under this new policy and will still be allowed to advertise on its platform.
Offenders promoting stalkerware will receive a seven-day notice, after which they will have problems if they do not remove the ads.
Google's crackdown on stalkerware ads comes after the antivirus industry decided to add detections for stalkerware products to virus scanners.
After improving their products, the anti-virus companies set up the "Coalition Against Stalkerware»In November 2019, as the first global initiative of its kind, to raise awareness of the growing threat of stalkerware.
For those unfamiliar with the term, stalkerware is a form of malware that is part of the larger category of spyware.
Stalkerware refers to applications spyware designed specifically for the surveillance of close friends, associates or loved ones without their knowledge or consent.
Its use stalkerware has increased over the last decade due to the proliferation of smartphones, as it allows jealous associates to constantly monitor other people's phones.