Google Restates Commitment to Safer Ad, Releases Latest Data

Emma Okonji

Google has restated its commitments to protect and support people about their privacy online.

At the Africa Ads and Privacy immersion for Africa press in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, which held online on Tuesday with the theme: Rethinking the Digital Future to Enhance the Ads-supported Web, the Managing Director, Google Africa, Nitin Gajria, said there was need to earn people’s trust by building responsible, private advertising to secure a future for the ad-supported web that is safer for people, stronger for businesses, and successful for publishers.

According to Gajria, “For generations, ads have funded our favourite content, from newspapers, magazines, and entertainment to the web. Today 66 per cent of the world is online. The ad-supported internet model has become a remarkable resource for humanity, putting an explosion of tools, information, and content at our fingertips. As people manage more of their lives online, their concerns over how personal data is gathered, used, and shared have grown. In the last five years, search interest in private browsing increased by over 60 per cent in Nigeria, over 30 per cent in South Africa, and over 110 per cent in Kenya. Kenya is the 15th country in the world that searched most for private browsing in the last five years and the African country that searched most for the topic. 2022 was the year Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria searched most for private browsing since 2012.”

Gajria however said it could also be surprising how damaging a bad privacy experience online could be.

“Users view bad privacy experiences as almost as damaging as a theft of their data. It’s enough to make many of them switch to another brand, and it’s almost impossible to recover from. The impact of a negative privacy experience outweighs that of a positive one, so once the damage is done, it would be hard to bring customers back,” Gajria said.

Trust and Safety Director for EMEA at Google, Brian Crowley, who gave details of the number of bad ads pulled down by Google over the years in order to protect online users, said: “In 2018, a total 2.3 billion bad ads were removed, with 734 thousand publisher terminations and one million bad advertiser accounts actions. In 2019, 2.7 billion bad ads were removed with 1.2 million publisher terminations and 21 million publisher pages ads were removed. In 2020, 3.1 billion bad ads were removed with 1.6 million publisher site-level actions and 1.3 billion publisher pages ads were removed. In 2021, 3.4 billion bad ads were removed, and 5.6 million advertiser accounts suspended.”   

In October last Google launched My Ad Center globally, that enables people to see and control how their data is used to show them ads on Search, Discover and YouTube. They can choose to see less of the ads they don’t want to see, and this works for both users and advertisers.

In addition to giving people control of how their data is used now, Google introduced the Privacy Sandbox, which is a Google open-source initiative in partnership with the global advertising industry to find solutions for a more private internet, both for the web and on mobile apps.

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