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August AdSense policy updates prohibiting spyware and dangerous health crisis-related content

The Google Publisher Policies for AdSense will be updated in August. The changes include an apparent COVID-19-related prohibition of misleading medical content and there will be a clarification of prohibitions on content promoting spyware. 

There will also be a few other changes to the policy language. 

Upcoming Changes to the Google Publisher Policies

The following changes will be made in August 2020. Be sure to check the Google Publisher Policies in August for more detailed information and examples of prohibited content. 

Dangerous and Derogatory Content

The policy will be updated to explicitly prohibit "content that relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative, scientific consensus."

This would prohibit monetizing misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic and probably some coronavirus conspiracy theories. 

Related information: 
Enabling Dishonest Behavior

The policy will be updated to prohibit "promotion or monetization of content that enables a user, or promotes products and services that enable a user, to track or monitor another person or their activities without their authorization."

This includes:
  • spyware that monitors texts
  • spyware that monitors phone calls
  • spyware that monitors browsing history
  • GPS tracking without consent
  • surveillance equipment, including cameras and audio recorders, marketed for the purpose of spying
It specifically calls out "intimate partner surveillance" and "nanny cams" .

It does not prohibit products or services designed for parents to monitor their underage children or private investigation services.

Privacy

The Privacy-related policy for compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) will be updated. AdSense says this will be an "editorial change to policy language", rather than a policy change. 

Google will also standardize existing policies across publisher products pertaining to child sexual abuse and exploitation.

"Interest-based advertising" becomes "personalized advertising"
 
All mentions of "interest-based advertising" will be replaced with "personalized advertising" . This doesn't change any policy, and is consistent with the terminology used by the EU User Consent Policy, California Consumer Privacy Act and other legislation.

What should you do if your blog or website has content that violates the Google Publisher Policies?

As an AdSense Publisher, you have agreed to follow the Google Publisher Policies, including both the content you post, and content you link to.
When you monetize your content with Google ad code you are required to adhere to the following policies. By content we mean anything present on your page or app - including other advertisements and links to other sites or apps. Failure to comply with these policies may result in Google blocking ads from appearing against your content, or suspending or terminating your account.
To keep your AdSense account in good standing, you will need to either remove the content that violates policy, or remove AdSense ads from pages with that content. 

You can exclude pages or sections of your site from displaying Auto Ads by editing the settings from your AdSense account's Ads > Overview page.

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