Google: If You Received An Email About AdSense PII Breach, You Should Act

May 22, 2014 - 7:54 am 7 by
Filed Under Google AdSense

Google AdSense logoYesterday we reported that tons of Google AdSense publishers began receiving Personally Identifiable Information (PII) breach notifications about their ads and sites. Google by then has not responded but after I wrote about it, Google finally responded.

Google told AdSense publishers that they should act and make the necessary changes quickly if they received such a notification. Google wrote in the thread:

These emails are warnings that were issued by Google following our detection of personally identifiable information (PII) being passed to us in ad requests from your sites or apps in breach of our policies on Identifying Users.

There are different ways in which this might occur. We recommend you start your investigation with the following steps:

- Check the URLs of pages where you’ve implemented Google ads to ensure they do not contain visitors’ usernames, passwords, email addresses, or other PII.
- If you’re using a Google product that allows you to add macros, such as the key-values feature of DFP, check that you’re not placing any information into these macros that Google would consider PII.
- If your site includes an HTML form, consider using the method=POST implementation instead of the method=GET implementation, which is more likely to pass PII to the URL.

This is not an exhaustive list, and you should remember that it is every publisher’s responsibility to ensure that it is not passing data to Google that Google could use or recognize as PII.

If you received an email on this issue, you should address the problem. Let us know when you’ve resolved the issue by marking “The problem has been fixed” on the form linked in the original violation email. In the meantime, you should mark “I acknowledge the alert, and I will investigate accordingly.” If you believe you were contacted in error, you should mark “I believe I was contacted in error. Please re-review my account.”

-- The Google AdSense team

So do not let that email notification just sit, make sure you act on it fast or you risk having your Google AdSense account shut down.

Forum discussion at Google AdSense Help.


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