Google Looks To Limit Discrimination In Housing, Employment, Credit Ads A Year After Facebook Settled Similar Lawsuit

Alphabet Inc. GOOGL GOOG subsidiary Google on Thursday announced it was going to limit ad targeting for advertisements related to housing, employment, and credit, Reuters reported.

What Happened

The technology behemoth said users will no longer be able to target ads in these categories based on postal code, gender, age, parental status, or marital status, as reported by Reuters.

"We had been working constructively with [the Department of Housing and Urban Development] on these issues since last year, and our timeline has not been driven by current events," Google spokesperson Elijah Lawal told Reuters.

The change in policy will come into effect in the United States by the end of the year, according to Reuters.

Why It Matters

Facebook settled a lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union in March last year for allowing ads discrimination based on race, gender, and age.

The social media company didn't allow ads to be targeted based on race, sex, or sexuality, but the plaintiffs argued that other factors like "postal code" can be used as an alternative to target ads anyway.

Google said the plan had been in motion before the recent events related to the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests.

The housing department had said at the time of Facebook lawsuit that it was investigating other companies, including Google and Twitter Inc. TWTR, for discriminatory ads as well.

Alphabet Price Action

Alphabet Class A shares closed 4.3% lower at $1,401.90 on Thursday. The shares traded 0.7% in the after-hours session at $1,412.

Class C shares closed 4.2% lower at $1,403.84, and were up nearly 0.8% in the after-hours session at $1,415.

Posted In: DiscriminationInternet AdvertisingMark ZuckerbergReutersNewsLegalTechMedia

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.