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Google’s new rules clamp down on discriminatory housing, job ads

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Google’s new rules clamp down on discriminatory housing, job ads
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OAKLAND: Alphabet Inc’s Google mentioned on Thursday it was tackling illegal discrimination by barring housing, employment and credit score adverts from being focused to its users primarily based on their postal code, gender, age, parental status or marital status.

The new coverage, which is able to take impact by the tip of the yr within the United States and Canada, comes greater than a yr after the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) charged Facebook Inc for promoting discriminatory housing adverts and mentioned it was trying into comparable considerations about Google and Twitter Inc.

Google and Facebook collectively account for just over half of web advert gross sales globally, making their coverage actions influential within the indusstrive.

U.S. protests following the dying of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, have positioned a highlight on racial inequities, together with the challenges black individuals face to find jobs and housing. But Google mentioned its new coverage was not a response to the protests.

“We had been working constructively with HUD on these points since final yr, and our timeline has not been pushed by present occasions,” Google spokesperson Elijah Lawal mentioned.

In a press launch on Thursday, HUD inspired different on-line advert sellers to comply with Google’s motion. Twitter mentioned it had no coverage updates to share.

Google had previously barred advertisers from selecting advert targets primarily based on users’ race, faith, ethnicity or sexual orientation. But researchers investigating discrimination have mentioned advertisers might nonetheless use different knowledge to exclude lower-income people and racial minorities from their potential customer pool.

For instance, ZIP codes, which confer with geography, could possibly be a proxy for race as individuals of comparable background generally cluster in neighborhoods.

Facebook banned advertisers from using ZIP codes, age and gender to resolve who would see adverts days earlier than HUD took motion final yr. The firm and U.S. prosecutors mentioned the case, which was referred to a federal courtroom in New York, is ongoing.

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