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Google Commits To Keeping Ad Platforms Safe For African Users, Advertisers, Publishers

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Google has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that user data are well protected on its advertising platforms amid growing concerns about data breaches and cybersecurity-related issues.

In a statement shared with Technext, the tech giants explained that user safety remains a priority and thousands of experts are tasked with ensuring that user data does not fall in the hands of criminals.

“At Google, user safety is a top priority regarding ads and monetized content on our platforms. Thousands of Googlers work around the clock to prevent malicious use of our advertising services and make them safer for people, businesses, and publishers.”

Google understands that an ad-supported internet means access to essential information and diverse content at no cost, hence the need to reassure users that their data will not be compromised.

Access to quality information has never been more important in Africa, especially since the covid pandemic. As people manage more of their lives online, their concerns over how personal data is gathered, used, and shared have grown.

In the last five years, search interest in private browsing has increased by +60% in Nigeria, +30% in South Africa, and +110% in Kenya. 2022 was the year Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria searched most for private browsing since 2012.

Regulators worldwide demand a more private internet, and African businesses must acknowledge and respond to this shift in consumer behaviour.

Nitin Gajria, Managing Director, Africa at Google, states, “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’s added features to protect user data

In light of the growing privacy concern, Google has placed users at the centre of its work across every product. In October last year, the company launched My Ad Center globally, allowing anyone to see and control how their data is used to show them ads on Search, Discover and YouTube.


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This allows users to see less of the ads they don’t want to see (and if they want, more ads they’re interested in), creating a win-win situation for both users and advertisers. With less waste, more satisfied customers, and more effective campaigns, privacy-safe advertising is a win-win for everyone.

In addition to these efforts, Google also announced the Privacy Sandbox initiative, which was developed in partnership with the advertising industry to create a more private internet. It reduces tracking across websites and apps while allowing free access to online content and services.

The initiative involves building new technology to protect personal information, providing alternative options for publishers and developers, and establishing new internet privacy standards. The Privacy Sandbox for the Web will phase out third-party cookies and limit covert tracking. It will also provide safer alternatives for publishers to use to protect personal data and continue their digital business.

In 2021, Google continued to evolve its policy development and enforcement strategies to stay ahead of potential threats. The platform also introduced a multi-strike system for repeat policy violations and added or updated more than 30 policies or restrictions for advertisers and publishers.

The statement discloses that Google also took action against the malicious use of its 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.

In addition to these efforts, Google 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.

Several resources have also been introduced to help publishers moderate user-generated content and make targeted improvements to the publisher approval process to detect better 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 ensure that we can stay ahead of potential threats and maintain a safe and trustworthy environment for all,” the statement reads.

We will continue working closely with regulators, industry partners, and user groups to ensure our efforts align with their priorities and concerns. We will also continue prioritising user trust and privacy in all decisions.


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