Google will prohibit ads for 'intimate partner surveillance' tech

Google to prohibit stalker ware used for spying on intimate partners

Google will prohibit ads for 'intimate partner surveillance' tech

Stalkerware or spyware apps are disturbingly common. They're associated with domestic violence, and often are used for illegal activity.

Cracking down on the apps has proven hard, prompting a group effort among advocates, antivirus organizations and legal experts, a number of whom have formed the Coalition Against Stalkerware.

Google has asked businesses on its platform to assess if their ads are falling under the category of ads that are to be banned and to remove those ads before the new policy kicks in. Google and Apple have also removed numerous apps from their platforms. Antivirus firms have researched the best ways to identify the apps and warn users when stalkerware might be on their phones.

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The new policy will be implemented globally on August 11, and the accounts of advertisers that violate it will be suspended, according to Google. Cutting down on advertising could further limit the apps' reach.

The apps have thrived in to a legal gray area. Under the hood, they might still become stalkerware apps, as security writer Graham Cluley stated in a blog post Friday.

"The updated policy will prohibit the promotion of products or services that are marketed or targeted with the express goal of tracking or monitoring another person or their activities without their authorization.", the Alphabet-owned company said in its blog.

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In a statement, a Google spokesperson said the company makes frequent updates to its ad policies to make sure users are protected.

"We routinely update our language with guides to help explain what we consider strategy abusing".

Google which is the Alphabet Inc.'s has taken a decision to change all of its policies in the next month which would put a stop on advertisement for spyware and different other unauthorized tracking technologies.

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