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Taking Responsibility Seriously

By Julian Coulter - Google Mexico
Country Director


By Julian Coulter | Country Director - Thu, 09/14/2023 - 10:00

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Daniel Dobrygowski is the Director of Governance and Trust at the World Economic Forum (WEF). In an article he wrote in 2022, Dobrygowski noted that the most important decision we can make in the 21st century is to work together to build trust or see innovation fail.

The statement by the representative of the WEF summarizes a study that was carried out that year by the organization that defined the meaning of digital trust as "the expectation people have that technologies and Digital Services, including the organizations that provide them, protect the interests of all parties and uphold the expectations and values of society.”

In Mexico, people’s interest in transparency is a reality. According to a survey we conducted last year, 6 out of 10 Mexicans believe that having the ability to adjust their privacy settings on internet services would help them increase their sense of transparency while navigating online.

Every day, billions of people turn to Google products, from YouTube and Android, to Gmail and Maps and, of course, Google Search, to access trusted information and content, which prompts us to take that responsibility very seriously.

As part of our commitment to maintaining users’ privacy, we constantly endeavor to develop and strengthen our terms of service, product and developer policies, as well as our community guidelines. This allows us to keep people who access our services and products safe, while ensuring that information is universally accessible.

To take it a step further and provide greater transparency, we launched the Transparency Center a few weeks ago. The site compiles existing resources and policies and was designed with our users in mind, providing easy access to information on our policies, how we create, enforce them, and much more, including the rule-making process, policies by product or service, tools for filing complaints and appeals, transparency reporting, and our artificial intelligence and privacy principles.

Bringing people closer to the processes for creating or modifying our policies is intended to make it easier for users, developers, and creators to understand the terms, rules, and regulations. It is important to mention that our policies are developed after careful investigation and with the participation of experts, taking into account the relevant legislation. As the landscape changes, our policies evolve, allowing us to prevent abuse while empowering businesses, organizations, creators, and end users to access new opportunities for growth and economic development.

The site is also intended to demonstrate in an accessible way the results we get from implementing and enforcing our policies. For example, by taking steps to keep the internet safe, we blocked more than 5.2 billion violating ads in 2022. In the same year, 11 million YouTube videos were removed for violating our Community Guidelines, and 4,300 URLs were removed from Google Search results for containing child exploitation content.

There is still a lot more to be done. At Google, we recognize that a turning point for making sure the internet stays safe and reliable is giving our communities the opportunity to report harmful content or misuse of our products. Under this premise, at the Transparency Center, we have made available a page that allows people to easily find the procedures to report harmful content and file appeals in several of our services.

The survey I mentioned above also found that 95% of consumers in Mexico think it is important for brands to be transparent about the data they collect from users. This is not only a local reality but a general need of people at a global level. As part of the efforts we have undertaken to expand transparency from the Transparency Center, we set out to detail very clearly how our systems operate and evolve to personalize results and help users discover relevant content. Recommendations play an important role in helping us maintain a responsible use of our products and services, while connecting audiences to reliable information and minimizing the chances that they will see harmful or illegal content.

As we push for progress as an industry it is always important to strengthen trust and transparency in internet services. We will continue to work and collaborate with stakeholders to enhance transparency, while enabling more people, businesses, brands, and developers to continue finding new ways to develop their ideas with the power that an open and transparent internet can unlock

Photo by:   Julian Coulter

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