Advertisers using Google Ads will soon need to verify their identity as part of a new system that aims to increase “transparency, choice and control” for end users.
On Thursday, Google revealed the plans for a verification program that will require advertisers to provide details including geographic location details and business incorporation documents to prove who they are.
The initiative builds on the identification verification that Google rolled out for political advertisements back in 2018.
Google says that political advertisers in 30 countries have been verified since then and the success of the program has prompted it to extend the system for all advertisers across its platforms.
It means that advertisers will now have to complete the process to buy any ads.
“This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google,” Google director of product management Jack Canfield said in a statement.
He added that the move also improves the quality of the digital advertising ecosystem as it will make it easier to detect “bad actors” and prevent them from misrepresenting themselves.
The verification program will start rolling out in the US in the coming days with a global release soon afterwards.
However, Google notes that it could take some time, possibly several years, for the whole ad ecosystem to be verified completely.
Certain industries will be first in line and those that are required to verify will have 30 days to submit the relevant information.
A failure to do so during this period will lead to ads being taken down.
Moving forward, users will see disclosures on ads with information including the name of the advertiser, country location, and the ability to adjust settings to stop receiving content from the advertiser.
Google says that these controls will give users greater control and improve transparency.