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Personalized advertising is a powerful tool that improves advertising relevance for users and increases ROI for advertisers. Because it works by employing online user data to target users with more relevant advertising content, it can provide an improved experience for users and advertisers alike.
When employing user behavior or interest data to provide more relevant ad content it’s important to handle that information appropriately. We recognize that certain interests are sensitive and that targeting based on them could negatively impact user experience.
Sensitive interest categories are restricted in personalized ads. We define sensitive interest categories in terms of the following content policy principles:
Personalized ads policies apply differently depending on the targeting feature used. For all targeting features, there are two components:
Depending on whether the targeting feature is an advertiser-curated audience or a predefined Google audience, personalized ads sensitive interest categories may or may not apply to promoting products and services.
Advertisers promoting products and services that fall within sensitive interest categories are unable to use advertiser-curated audiences. This helps ensure that sensitive interest categories aren’t inadvertently used for targeting audiences. Because predefined Google audiences are expressly configured without sensitive user signals, all advertisers are allowed to use them, even if they promote sensitive interest categories.
See the following non-exhaustive list of targeting features and how personalized ads policies apply.
Ads must comply with all applicable laws and regulations for all of the locations where your ads are showing.
We don’t allow targeting users based on legally restricted content, as defined in the following sensitive interest categories. Depending on the targeting feature used, you also may not be allowed to promote products and services in the following sensitive interest categories.
Gambling, including online and offline gambling; online gambling-related information; online non-casino games played for money or prizes; and online casino-based games, regardless of whether money is exchanged
We understand that users don’t want to see ads that exploit their personal struggles, difficulties, and hardships, so we don’t allow personalized advertising based on these hardships. Such personal hardships include health conditions, treatments, procedures, personal failings, struggles, or traumatic personal experiences. You also can’t impose negativity on the user.
We don’t allow targeting users based on personal hardships, as defined in the following sensitive interest categories. Depending on the targeting feature used, you also may not be allowed to promote products and services in the following sensitive interest categories.
Personal hardships with family, friends, or other interpersonal relationships
Personal criminal record, crimes committed, criminal allegations, or criminal charges
Imposing negativity on the user or using a negative perspective or bias to promote any content category
We consider identity and belief systems to be deeply personal and complex. They’re highly dependent on diversity of cultural norms, geography, history, and personal life experiences. We also understand that how one identifies or what one believes can be used to segment users based on judgments or stigmas.
We want ads to provide a positive experience and to be informed by users’ interests rather than by who they’re perceived to be as a person, so we don’t allow personalized advertising based on a user’s fundamental or intrinsic self-identity or their belief systems. Such identities and beliefs can include inherently private classifications of one’s self; classifications susceptible to stigmas, discrimination, or harassment; membership within groups that are susceptible to stigmas, discrimination, or prejudices; and personally held belief systems.
We don’t allow targeting users based on identity and belief, as outlined in the following sensitive interest categories. Depending on the targeting feature used, you also may not be allowed to promote products and services in the following sensitive interest categories.
Sexual orientation, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, or heterosexual orientation
This Personalized advertising policy applies to all targeting features.
This Personalized advertising policy applies to all targeting features.
Trade unions and ads that imply knowledge of a user's trade union membership
Membership in a marginalized or vulnerable social group, such as social castes, immigrants or refugees
Personal identification with a gender different from the gender assigned at birth, or a gender which does not conform to singular male or female identification
We understand that sexual interests are inherently private and, depending on cultural norms, not often candidly discussed. We believe in maintaining the privacy of a user’s sexual interests, so we don’t allow personalized advertising that targets users based on their personal sexual interests, experiences, activities, or preferences. Such interests include sexual behaviors, activities, or products used when having sex. Additionally, we don’t allow categories that are sexually suggestive or intended to sexually arouse.
We don’t allow targeting users based on sexual interests, as outlined in the following sensitive interest categories. Depending on the targeting feature used, you also may not be allowed to promote products and services in the following sensitive interest categories.
You are responsible for ensuring your ads comply with policy where required. See below for specific examples of what we don't allow.
Devices intended to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases
If the Sexual content policy and the Personalized advertising sexual interests policy differ on how each treats a category, the Personalized advertising sexual interests policy takes precedence over the Sexual content policy with respect to how the category can be used for targeting and personalized ads.
We believe access to social and economic opportunities is fundamental for individual well-being, social status and quality of life. We also recognize that historic discrimination and societal biases have resulted in some segments of society having unequal access to these opportunities.
Therefore, in an effort to improve inclusivity for users disproportionately affected by society’s biases, we don’t allow some categories of products or services to be targeted to specific audiences. This is in addition to existing ads policies that prohibit discrimination and personalized ads policies that prohibit use of Identity and Belief categories. See below for specific examples of what we don't allow.
In the United States and Canada, the following sensitive interest categories cannot be targeted to audiences based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP code.
Homes for sale or rental, where a home is defined as a place a person would reside. This includes products or services enabling the sale or rental of homes.
*A subset of predetermined U.S. government advertisers promoting employment in personalized ads are permitted to target restricted audiences under specific conditions. If the targeting is based on a bona fide occupational qualification for a government job, which is defined under U.S. law as a qualification that is reasonably necessary for normal function of the job, these identified U.S. government advertisers may target restricted audiences.
These policies define requirements for data collection and use in personalized ads. They apply in addition to the Google ads policies for data collection and use.
Use or associate PII with remarketing lists, cookies, data feeds, or other pseudonymous identifiers
Share PII with Google through remarketing tags or any product data feeds that might be associated with ads
Send Google precise location information without first obtaining users' consent
Use a remarketing list that targets an overly narrow or specific audience. This includes the case where combining a remarketing list with other targeting criteria (such as geographic limitations or other user segmentation) results in an ad targeted to a relatively small number of users.