Google said it is taking steps to safeguard the U.S. Census next year. The U.S. carries out the task of counting the population of the country every decade since 1790. But in 2020, the U.S. is allowing its citizens to complete the census online for the first time. However, people can also complete census by email or phone. With that in mind, the U.S. tech companies Google and YouTube are working to protect the process for next year's census.
The new online system will provide Americans with a platform to participate in the census next year. More than 70 per cent of the U.S. households use the internet whereas 80 per cent of the population has access to the internet over smartphones. To support the new online option, Google says they are working to connect people with information about the census.
"Building upon our ongoing work to protect the integrity of information and civic processes, this past March we established our 2020 U.S. Census Taskforce, a team to support the operations and security of the 2020 Census across Google and YouTube," Google said in its blog post.
"Its primary objective is to prevent bad actors from abusing our services to spread misinformation, or to conduct fraudulent activity around the census such as phishing or other scams," it added.
Google says it will provide regular updates on efforts to the Census Bureau and other relevant organisations.
-- YouTube will crackdown on videos and comments that misinform people about the time or eligibility criteria for participating in the census.
-- In November, Google clarified its policy to explicitly prevent ads that feature incorrect information about how to participate in the census.
-- Google will ensure that legitimate emails from the Census Bureau are delivered and to block phishing attempts via fake census websites.
-- Security tools like Safe Browsing in Chrome will be turned on by default and can warn people of compromised sites related to the census.
-- Search is designed to surface relevant results from the most authoritative sources available.
-- Google said it is improving systems and elevating authoritative information, particularly for important areas like civics and news.
-- The U.S. Census Bureau is joining the YouTube Trusted Flagger program in order to notify Google, YouTube of census-related content that violates policies.
-- Census partners will need to provide the sources of any census related information they provide in their app and make clear the nature of their relationship with the census.