Unofficial services are selling government documents like travel permits and driving licenses against Google’s own rules. BBC found the expensive third-party sellers that searched for 12 months. Google said that it had taken down billions of rule-breaking adverts.
What is Issue
In the United Kingdom, if you change the address of your driving license, it would be free, but Google showed the services charges £49.99.
When you apply for an Esta travel permit to visit, United States should only charge $14, but Google allowed adverts for websites charging more than $80. Adverts appear at the top in search results.
These websites are not illegal, and customers get the documents for which they apply. Moreover, some charge more than five times the amount as official websites do.
Martin Lewis, the website money-saving expert, said they are not scams; they are shysters. They are not snatching the money as they charge a fee for something that completely pointless.
There had been many adverts in October 2018 that broke the rules. Google told BBD it had developed a learning system machine that could prevent the adverts from appearing again. They ban third-party services that charge more than government officials.
The policy changed in May 2020 in which adverts for documents ban and it can be obtained from a government or a delegated provider.
- US Esta
- apply for Esta
- US visa
- Canada ETA (a travel document for Canada)
- apply for Canada ETA
- apply for a Canada visa
- apply for an Australian visa
- apply for a driving license
- renew driving license
- driving license change address
Has Google Fixed this Problem?
According to Professor Sandra Wachter, Machine learning is very good when you have a clear target in mind. However, try to rule out a game, “ Cat and mouse,” as the companies can change their tactics and reappear. Customers always trust google; therefore, there is a need for more precautions if they know there is a certain problem.
In the last week, the BBC also found another fake gadget store at the top of Google’s search when customers hunted for gadgets such as iPhone 12, Samsung S21, and Song Headphones.
In its response, google issues a statement which said, We have strict policies that give the types of advertisers that we allow on our platforms. We allow governments or their delegated providers to advertise for official documents or services. Moreover, we have removed 3.1 billion adverts that violated the policies in 2020. Besides, we started to verify advertisers on Google in January 2021.