Google Will Require Proof of Identity From All Advertisers – The New York Times

The names of the companies or people behind ads, as well as their countries of origin, will begin appearing on Google ads this summer, starting with several thousand advertisers a month in the United States before expanding worldwide. The measure, which could take years to implement, is designed as a defense against businesses and individuals who misrepresent themselves in paid online promotions, Google said.

Under the new policy, Google will suspend the accounts of advertisers that do not provide proof of identity, including W9 forms, passports and other personal identification and business incorporation files. Previously, Google had requested basic information, like names, but did not require documentation.

In late 2016, Google kicked off hundreds of publishers from its AdSense advertising system. Two years later, it required political advertisers to verify their identities before allowing them to buy campaign ads. The move came after Google’s disclosure to Congress that it had accepted nearly $5,000 in advertising during the election cycle from the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company accused of meddling in the race.

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