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

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