Welcoming proposals from the European Union (EU) to tackle the misuse of political advertising to undermine elections, Google said it was essential that the future law clarify which actors and what types of content are subject to political advertising obligations, giving clear examples of what would and would not be within the scope.
The EU’s proposals, presented on Thursday evening, would also ban political targeting and AI / ML techniques used to reach more and more people.
Political parties, organizations and businesses face fines if they fail to comply.
Matt Brittin, president of Google Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a blog post that this is a complex area, requiring a balance between minimizing disinformation while protecting legitimate political expression.
“Without clear definitions, different companies will adopt inconsistent and contradictory policies, which will create confusion for advertisers and undermine transparency for citizens,” he argued.
“The current text could also inadvertently impact a wider range of announcements than expected, for example by scanning announcements from NGOs on issues of public interest or from private citizens speaking on social issues.” Brittin added.
Google was one of the original signatories of the EU’s Code of Good Practice on Disinformation.
According to European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova, people need to know why they see an ad, who paid for it, how much and what micro-targeting criteria were used.
“New technologies must be tools of emancipation, not manipulation,” she said in a statement.
The tech giant said advertiser ‘self-declaration’ – whereby political advertisers verify their identity and declare when they run political ads – would require advertisers to contribute to transparency, which would improve the way the company works. the law in practice.
“Continuing discussions with stakeholders will help regulation respond to changing contexts or emerging trends that could affect definitions, regulations or enforcement,” Google said.
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