According to a Google blog post on Thursday, a New ID requirements for U S political advertisers have been issued by the company.  The post was attributed to Kent Walker, a Google senior vice president.

Google says that it is going to require political advertisers to provide a government-issued ID and other information in order to confirm that they are US citizens or lawful permanent residents. There is also a requirement to clearly disclose who is paying for the ad.

Around a year ago, Protect Your Election was published by Jigsaw, free election transparency tools that are geared towards users of online attack. On Tuesday, Google announced that Apple’s native applications on iOS devices, such as Apple Mail, Calendar and Contacts, will now be supported in one of these tools, its Advanced Protection program.

This news has surfaced because of of increased scrutiny of huge, data-driven companies, such as Google, and particularly Facebook (as they are dealing with allegations of misuse of data from Cambridge Analytica).  This also comes ahead of increased data privacy laws in the form of the GDPR, which is a set of rules that affects the handling of European Union users’ data.  These rules are set to rollout later this month.

According to Walker, Google is going to release a new election-ad-focused Transparency Report this summer.  The report lists the buyers of election-related ads on Google platforms.  THe company will also build a searchable library for political ads and advertisers.

The post also touted additional initiatives:

We are also working across the industry and beyond to strengthen protections around elections. We’ve partnered 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. We are also supporting their “Disinfo Lab,” which will employ journalists to leverage computational tools to monitor misinformation in the run-up to and during elections.

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