Google Targeted Again for Illegal Online Pharmacy Ads
June 7, 2013 11:42 AM
The National Association of Attorneys General found ads on Google's search engine, and questionable content on YouTube
illegal online pharmacies
are still found on Google's search engine, and Mississippi state's Attorney General is not pleased.
Mississippi state Attorney General Jim Hood, along with the National Association of Attorneys General, complained yesterday that Google is (once again) posting advertisements for illegal online pharmacies through its search engine, and is even allowing this drug-related content to be posted on YouTube.
To make matters worse, Hood said the content and advertisements are easy to find.
"On every check we have made, Google's search engine gave us easy access to illegal goods, including websites which offer dangerous drugs without a prescription, counterfeit goods of every description," said Hood. "This behavior means that Google is putting consumers at risk and facilitating wrongdoing, all while profiting handsomely from illegal behavior."
The National Association of Attorneys General further complained that YouTube hosts many videos on how to buy drugs from online pharmacies without a prescription. Some of the results even have links to websites that sell the drugs, such as Tramadol or Percocet.
The association said Google is not doing its part to keep citizens safe. For users to post videos on YouTube, they must allow Google to post ads on the video's pages. Once users give YouTube permission, Google splits the page-view revenue with the users. However, the complaint is that Google isn't paying close enough attention to what's being posted, and is even making money off of the explicit content.
"We take the safety of our users very seriously and we've explained to Attorney General Hood how we enforce policies to combat rogue online pharmacies and counterfeit drugs," Google said in a statement yesterday. "In the last two years, we've removed more than 3 million ads for illegal pharmacies, and we routinely remove videos that are flagged for violating YouTube's Guidelines regarding dangerous or illegal content."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an investigation against Google in 2009 regarding whether the search leader knowingly accepted fake Canadian pharmacy ads online that were illegal. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), shipping prescriptions to the United States from outside of the country is "generally illegal" because they are not FDA-approved for safety. The DOJ stated that Google was aware of this since as early as 2003, concluding that it knowingly accepted these
In August 2011, Google was
ordered to pay $500 million
to settle the investigation.
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