Google Says EU law on political advt must not undermine transparency

London: Google has said that it is critical that the upcoming law clarifies which actors and what types of content are subject to the obligations regarding political advertising, giving clear examples of what would and would not be in scope, in response to the European Union's (EU) proposals to curb the misuse of political advertising to undermine elections. The EU Code of Practice on Disinformation included Google as one of the first signatories.

The European Union's plans, which were unveiled late Thursday, would also prohibit political targeting and the use of AI/ML techniques to reach an ever-increasing number of individuals. Failure to comply would result in sanctions for political parties, organisations, and businesses.

In a blog post, Matt Brittin, President of Google Europe, Middle East, and Africa, emphasized that this is a complicated sector that necessitates striking a balance between minimising misinformation and supporting genuine political expression.

"Without precise standards, different companies would adopt inconsistent and contradictory rules, confusing marketers and hurting openness for citizens," he argued. "The existing phrasing could inadvertently effect a broader variety of ads than intended," Brittin warned. "For example, sweeping in ads from NGOs on public-interest issues or from individual persons speaking out on social issues."

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