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New Policy by Google to Reveal Political Ad-spend in India

Google would introduce an India-specific "Political Advertising Transparency" report and searchable "Political Ads Library" in March

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

As India gears up for the Lok Sabha elections, Google on Tuesday announced an updated election ads policy that will provide comprehensive information about who is purchasing them on Google platforms and how much money is being spent.

The updated election ads policy will require advertisers to provide a “pre-certificate” issued by the Election Commision of India (ECI) or anyone authorised by the ECI, for each ad they wish to run.

Google will verify the identity of advertisers before their election ads run on its platforms, the company said in a statement.

“In 2019, over 850 million Indians are expected to cast their vote to elect the country’s next government. We’re thinking hard about elections and how we continue to support democratic processes in India and around the world,” said Chetan Krishnaswamy, Director-Public Policy, Google India.

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

“In line with this, we are bringing more transparency to election advertising online, and surfacing relevant information to help people better navigate the electoral process,” Krishnaswamy added.

The advertiser verification process will begin on February 14.

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Google would introduce an India-specific “Political Advertising Transparency” report and searchable “Political Ads Library” in March.

“For the Lok Sabha Election 2019, Google will make electoral information from the ECI and other authoritative sources easily discoverable on Search,” the company said. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Google Letting Android Users Create Events on Maps

Google's plans for a wider roll-out of the feature remain unknown

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The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

Google is letting Android users create public events on Maps through the app’s existing Contribute section, allowing them to set name, location, date and time of the event along with tags and images.

“You can add public events to Google Maps from your Android phone or tablet,” the search-engine giant wrote on the Maps support page.

Event listings would help users streamline time-specific activities and choose what suits them best.

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

“It’s all part of the app’s transformation from a service that tells you how to get somewhere into one that tells you where you might want to go in the first place,” The Verge reported on Monday.

Google’s plans for a wider roll-out of the feature remain unknown.

Also Read- Microsoft Asks Social Media Platforms to Act Fast on Terror

“Google Maps’ implementation is a little laggy at the moment, with events taking up to an hour to actually appear on a map. Hopefully, this improves as the functionality is more widely rolled out,” the report said. (IANS)