Google will now require anyone in the United States who wants to purchase political advertisements to verify they are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
Advertisers will need to provide a government-issued ID and other key information as well as keep better track of the ad-buying process. Google also will require that the ads incorporate a clear disclosure of who is paying for them.
The news, announced Friday in a blog post by Google Senior Vice President Kent Walker, takes effect later this year — in advance of November’s midterm elections.
Google also plans to release a new transparency report detailing the purchase of those election ads. The report will detail who purchased the advertisements and the amount spent. The report will link to a searchable library where anyone can discover more information about the election ads purchased on Google and who paid for them.
The changes come as Google is attempting to prevent foreign governments from interfering in elections through its platforms.
As Google works to strengthen protection around elections, the company on Thursday also introduced an Advanced Protection program to secure those who face “increased risk of sophisticated phishing attacks sent to their email address,” which “now supports Apple’s native applications on iOS devices, including Apple Mail, Calendar and Contacts,” Walker wrote. He explained that this is intended to protect campaigns and officials who are often the targets of sophisticated phishing attacks.
Walker said Google is also working with the National Cyber Security Alliance and Digital Democracy Project at the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School to fund security training programs for elected officials, campaigns, and staff members.