Post Note Ban, Google at Work on Safe Web for Dig­i­tal Con­verts

Merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions in star­tu­p­land

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech -

In­ter­net ser­vices gi­ant Google has de­cided to ac­cel­er­ate ef­forts to­wards user out­reach and em­pow­er­ment in In­dia, sens­ing that mil­lions of peo­ple, com­ing on­line for the first time be­cause of de­mon­eti­sa­tion, would be vul­ner­a­ble to dig­i­tal frauds. The com­pany is also in­ten­si­fy­ing ef­forts to­wards en­sur­ing a safe shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence and pro­tect­ing users from fraud­u­lent ads, said Tom Siegel, vice-pres­i­dent of Google’s Trust and Safety group, in an in­ter­view with ET’s CR Suku­mar. To­wards this, Google took down 1.7 bil­lion sus­pect ad­ver­tise­ments across the globe last year, he said. Ex­cerpts:

How are cy­ber threats evolv­ing in In­dia? There are a lot of different threats that all kinds of prod­ucts are ex­posed to and the main rea­son is that Google has a lot of users. One as­pect that we have been par­tic­u­larly fo­cussed on is the ad­ver­tis­ing space. We get a lot of shady play­ers try­ing to use our plat­form. Trick to click, coun­ter­feit, pay­day loans and bad pharma are among those. We see a lot of at­tempts to use the de­liv­ery of an on­line ad as a way to catch the user, ei­ther to sell them a fraud­u­lent prod­uct or to take im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion from them like lo­gin in­for­ma­tion. We also see a lot of mal­ware. Across the in­dus­try, we have seen an in­crease in a trend to­wards hack­ing and try­ing to ac­tu­ally hi­jack ac­counts. It is re­ally a cross-bor­der thing. There is noth­ing that is ac­tu­ally a pat­tern that you are only see­ing evolv­ing in In­dia which is not unique to other coun­tries.

How many bad ads could you take down last year? Google took down 1.7-bil­lion ads that vi­o­lated its ad­ver­tis­ing poli­cies, more than dou­ble the amount of bad ads it took down in 2015. We are fore­go­ing a lot of rev­enue in or­der to pro­tect our users.

With the dig­i­tal push post de­mon­eti­sa­tion, more In­di­ans are trans­act­ing on­line. How does Google en­sure these plat­forms are safe? Cer­tainly, fraud is one of the ma­jor threats for on­line com­merce in gen­eral for mer­chants, as well as users. If they do not trust that their money or pay­ment trans­ac­tions are safe they will not come back to do­ing pur­chases on­line. Google is putting a lot of em­pha­sis on cre­at­ing se­cure pay­ment in­fra­struc­tures. We are work­ing very closely with a va­ri­ety of teams across Google to es­tab­lish whether this is a trans­ac­tion we are com­fort­able hav­ing or not. Many sig­nals go into this anal­y­sis. We are try­ing to un­der­stand how much we can trust an in­di­vid­ual us­ing a pay­ment in­stru­ment be­fore ac­tu­ally let­ting them trans­act on our plat­forms. It is a very so­phis­ti­cated ef­fort.

Given our size, we mea­sure ev­ery­thing in mil­lions or hun­dreds of mil­lions of data points. All this has to hap­pen in a very large scale and very quickly. We tend to take a very holis­tic ap­proach to not just fight this bad­ness one by one but to also de­ploy per­ma­nent solutions. A big ef­fort of ours post de­tec­tion, is ac­tu­ally au­to­ma­tion of these ef­forts and then be­ing able to find au­to­mated ways to check and mit­i­gate some of these bad ex­pe­ri­ences.

What are the most com­mon point of at­tacks you see in dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions in In­dia post de­mon­eti­sa­tion? I don’t have In­dia-spe­cific data. Given this whole mood around de­mon­eti­sa­tion, we have done a lot of out

reach with the gen­eral pub­lic in In­dia on how to make them feel safe and know how to be safe on the in­ter­net. We have worked with a team called the Con­sumer Ad­vo­cacy Group where we do dig­i­tal cur­ricu­lum of what are the ways for you to be safe on the in­ter­net. This could be ei­ther be a two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion for your ac­count, or how to be safe from phish­ing or when you are do­ing an on­line buy and sell.

We have been do­ing out­reach with vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties like chil­dren and women for the past 1-1.5 years. We have reached about 1.95 mil­lion in­di­vid­u­als... We are now also work­ing with gov­ern­ments to cre­ate a dig­i­tal on­line safety cur­ricu­lum that is go­ing to be a part of ed­u­ca­tion.

WATCH­FUL OF ADS One as­pect that we have been par­tic­u­larly fo­cussed on is the ad­ver­tis­ing space. We get a lot of shady play­ers try­ing to use our plat­form TOMSIEGEL VP, Trust and Safety group, Google

How do you look at the role of cy­ber se­cu­rity in an age of po­lit­i­cal un­rest? Pre­vent­ing ter­ror­ism, ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions from us­ing our plat­forms ac­tu­ally has been a big fo­cus area of ours. We have fairly so­phis­ti­cated ef­forts un­der­way to iden­tify and re­move (dis­turb­ing or threat­en­ing) con­tent... We make a very clear dis­tinc­tion be­tween free­dom of speech and pro­pa­ganda pro­mo­tion of ter­ror­ism.

How does Google tackle is­sues of cy­ber­crime? Cy­ber­crime is a very broad term. We are a global com­pany and so we def­i­nitely have the abil­ity to see trends that span the globe, and can in­ter­vene early on. Very of­ten, what is needed in or­der to de­tect and counter larger on­line threats is hav­ing a very good view into what’s hap­pen­ing in data streams for in­stance, or in terms of the larger share of the trans­ac­tions for your prod­uct.

By mon­i­tor­ing our prod­ucts closely we can early on iden­tify trends and spot trends of spam at­tacks that might be hap­pen­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.