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Google announces measures to protect the European Union elections

Image via Christian Wiediger

Google has announced measures that it is taking in order to help protect the May 2019 European Union (EU) parliamentary elections. Some of the measures that the firm outlined include giving voters the information they need, helping voters understand the political ads that they see, and finally it will help protect campaigns keep their online presence secure.

The first measure Google will take is to give voters the relevant information they need to go out and cast their vote. In anticipation of the elections, Google will be working with Election Commissions across the member states in order to help people have access to electoral information, this will include data such as where voters need to go to cast their vote. With this data, Google will also be able to give you directions via Google Maps.

The next measure will be to inform voters about which entities are advertising to them, Google will tell users who is paying for an advertisement so that they can make a more informed judgement about the ads they see. Additionally, Google will also make advertisers verify their identity and will also release an EU Election Ads Transparency Report which users can search in order to find out which entities are purchasing ads, who they’re targeting with the ads, and how much money is being spent.

Lastly, Google wants to help campaigns protect their online presence; it will be delivering in-person security training to the most vulnerable groups who experience the highest risk of phishing attacks. It will teach them about the Advanced Protection Program in order to protect their online accounts and Project Shield to protect their websites from DDoS attacks.

Regarding its current fact-checking efforts, Google said that its Google News Lab will collaborate with news organisations across the EU in order to help them fact check. Google will do this by offering a series of free verification workshops that point journalists to the latest tools to support their coverage and rout out disinformation.

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