Google UK will rely on regulators to crack down on fraudulent financial advertising


After a sharp increase in online fraudulent advertising during the pandemic, Google is strengthening its advertising screening rules in the UK.Search giants have Announce Starting in the fall, it will only advertise financial products and services from sources approved by the UK financial regulator.

Google said it will update its policies on August 30, and will start to enforce these rules on September 6 a week later. At that time, advertisers must prove that they have been authorized by the UK Financial Conduct Authority or are eligible for its limited exemption. According to Google, the requirement covers financial products and services beyond the scope of regulators.

However, this decision did not happen overnight. Google has been increasingly criticized by regulators, law enforcement agencies, and consumer groups for its lack of action on rigorous advertising.According to the trade agency British Finance, Investment fraud cases on search engines increased by 32% last year. These usually involve criminals defrauding victims to transfer their money to a fictitious fund (such as a pension pot) or paying for false investments. The losses caused by false advertising totaled more than 135 million pounds.

At the same time, FCA threatened to take legal action against Google and social media companies because it issued 1,200 warnings about fraudulent advertisements on its platform, twice the number in 2019. The regulator told the parliamentary committee that it could start taking action to Brexit afterwards. In the past, FCA was subject to EU financial advertising rules, which did not apply to online platforms.

Others blamed the failure on Google’s system.British Consumer Group which one? It was found that among the 1,870 search engine users it surveyed, 51% did not know how to report suspicious advertisements on search lists. Google’s inertia has led some lawmakers to claim that it is content to continue to profit from false advertising.Member told protector The company is benefiting from online scammers who pay to host ads on its platform. FCA also paid Google more than 600,000 pounds (830,000 U.S. dollars) in 2020 and 2021 for “anti-fraud” advertising.

For its part, Google claims that it has used a combination of machine learning and manual review to improve its ad screening rules.Tech giants removed 3.1 billion According to its advertising transparency report, ads that violated its policies in 2020. It also began verifying advertisers in January, requiring them to submit proof of legal identity, business registration documents, and proof of the country in which they operate.As early as 2018, Google followed Facebook Footsteps Prohibition of cryptocurrency advertising.

“This new update builds on the important work of working with FCA over the past 18 months to help solve this problem,” said Ronan Harris, vice president and general manager of Google UK and Ireland, in a blog post. “Today’s announcement reflects significant progress in providing a safer experience for users, publishers and advertisers. Although we know that this policy update will affect a range of advertisers in the financial services sector, our first priority is to ensure The safety of users on our platform-especially in areas where fraudsters are targeting so disproportionately.”

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