Sex selection related online advertisements by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have invited unwanted trouble to the software giants. Yahoo India, Google India and Microsoft have been issued notices by the Indian Supreme Court to stop serving advertisements promoting sex selection.

According to Indian PC-PNDT Act (Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostics Techniques) determination of the sex of unborn baby is illegal. The 1994 act was amended in 2003 to stop female feticide.

The PC-PNDT Act states that Prohibition for any advertisement, in any form, including internet, regarding facilities of the prenatal determination of sex or sex selection before conception available at such center, lab, clinic or some other place.

In India more preference is given to the male babies. Many couples using the sex selection technique know in advanced the sex of their unborn child and in most cases if the result is the female sex they go for an abortion. Even with the PC-PNDT Act in place there are still many couples and doctors who follow the sex determination process secretly.

Dr. Sabu Mathew George had filed a written petition regarding the gender selection ads which was clearly violating the PC-PNDT Act. Minister of Communication & IT and Ministry of Health & Family welfare were also dragged into as they were informed about the ads but failed to take any action against the software giants.

Sex determination techniques though banned in India are legally allowed in many countries. Online advertisement use the geo targeted technique determining the country from the users IP address. The ads can also be targeted for specific country. The process is completely automated based on algorithm and there is no guarantee that a perfect country can be determined from the IP address.