With an increase in the spread of fake news and misinformation in the past couple of years, Google has put in place practices to prevent the abuse of its ad tools. One such practice is called identity verification. It requires all political groups to disclose their identity before running ads using Google’s platform.
The search giant today announced that it’s expanding the ‘identity verification’ tool to all advertisers. It means Google is making it mandatory for advertisers to reveal their identities. “Advertisers will need to submit personal identification, business incorporation documents or other information that proves who they are and the country in which they operate,” says the blog post. The rollout starts from the US and will expand globally in the coming months.
Now, if you are wondering, how does this feature benefit users like you and me? Well, the answer is simple – identity verification is not merely for Google’s use. It won’t be limited to the ads back-end, and you will soon be able to see who paid for the ad and the location (country) it was published from.
If you have ever interacted with an ad on Google, you would have seen a ‘Why this ad’ option. It will soon be appended with a new ‘About this advertiser’ option, as seen in the GIF above. You will see the advertiser’s name and location under this header. It’s here you can choose to keep seeing or disable ads from a certain publisher.
The identity verification policy will “help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves,” says Google. Advertisers will now be more mindful of what or how they advertise something as their name will be plastered on the ads.