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Google to verify identity of U.S. political ad buyers

The Google app is shown on an iPad on March 19, 2018 in Baltimore. Google says it will do a better job of verifying the identity of political ad buyers in the U.S., requiring them to provide a government-issued ID and other key information before allowing them to buy ads. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)
The Google app is shown on an iPad on March 19, 2018 in Baltimore. Google says it will do a better job of verifying the identity of political ad buyers in the U.S., requiring them to provide a government-issued ID and other key information before allowing them to buy ads. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

SAN FRANCISCO – Google says it will do a better job of verifying the identity of political ad buyers in the U.S. by requiring a government-issued ID and other key information.

Google will also require ad buyers to disclose who is paying for the ad. Google executive Kent Walker is repeating a pledge he made in November to create a library of such ads that will be searchable by anyone. The goal is to have this ready this summer.

Google’s blog post comes short of declaring support for the Honest Ads Act, a bill that would impose disclosure requirements on online ads, similar to what’s required for television and other media. Facebook and Twitter support that bill.

Google didn’t immediately provide details on how the ID verification would work for online ad buys.


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