Google has issued a memo, pledging to ensure user safety is a top priority when it comes to ads and monetized content on its platforms.
The statement issued on Thursday reads;
Thousands of Googlers work around the clock to prevent malicious use of our advertising services and make them safer for people, businesses, and publishers. We understand that an ad-supported internet means access to essential information and diverse content at no cost.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, access to reliable information has never been more crucial in Africa. People’s worries about how their personal data is collected, used, and shared have grown as they conduct more and more of their daily lives online.
Private browsing search interest has grown by +60% in Nigeria, +30% in South Africa, and +110% in Kenya during the past five years. Since 2012, Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria have accounted for the majority of private browsing searches.
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Businesses in Africa must recognise and adapt to this shift in customer behaviour as regulators throughout the world call for a more private internet.
Nitin Gajria, Managing Director, Africa at Google, stated;
At Google, we are committed to making the ad-supported web a safer and more private place for everyone in Africa. We believe that by giving people control over their data and investing in privacy-safe advertising, we can secure a future for the ad-supported web that benefits everyone.
Google has positioned consumers at the centre of its efforts across every product as privacy concerns gain traction. As of October 2022, anybody may view and manage how their data is used to serve them advertising on Search, Discover, and YouTube thanks to the company’s global launch of My Ad Center.
This creates a win-win situation for users and marketers by enabling people to opt to see less of the advertisements they don’t want to see (and if they so desire, more advertisements they are interested in).
Privacy-safe advertising benefits everyone because there is less waste, more contented customers, and more successful campaigns.
Privacy Sandbox Initiative
In addition to these initiatives, Google also unveiled the Privacy Sandbox initiative, a project designed to make the internet more private and developed in collaboration with the advertising sector.
While maintaining open access to online content and services, it is intended to minimise monitoring across websites and apps. The project entails creating new technologies to safeguard private data, offering publishers and developers different options, and setting new internet privacy rules.
The Web Privacy Sandbox will restrict covert tracking and phase out the usage of third-party cookies. Additionally, it will give publishers safer options to employ to safeguard personal information and carry on with their digital business.
Gajria further stated;
In 2021, we continued to evolve our policy development and enforcement strategies to stay ahead of potential threats. We introduced a multi-strike system for repeat policy violations and added or updated over 30 policies or restrictions for advertisers and publishers.
We also took action against malicious use of our platforms. In 2021, we removed over 3.4 billion ads, restricted over 5.7 billion ads, and suspended over 5.6 million advertiser accounts. We also blocked or restricted ads from serving on 1.7 billion publisher pages and took broader site-level enforcement action on approximately 63,000 publisher sites.
The Google Managing Director also said;
In addition to these efforts, we also introduced new tools and resources to help advertisers and publishers protect their brands and campaigns. This includes a new feature that allows brands to upload lists that can be automatically updated and maintained by trusted third parties.
We also released several resources to help publishers moderate user generated content and made targeted improvements to the publisher approval process to better detect and block bad actors.
We are committed to keeping our platforms safe for users, advertisers, and publishers in Africa. Our continued investment in policy development, enforcement, and new technologies like the sandbox ensures that we can stay ahead of potential threats and maintain a safe and trustworthy environment for all.
We will continue to work closely with regulators, industry partners, and user groups to ensure that our efforts align with their priorities and concerns, and we will continue to prioritise user trust and privacy in all of our decisions.