Google’s Revised Privacy Proposals Address Competition Concerns, UK Regulator Says — Update

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Jaime Llinares Taboada. By

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UK competition watchdog said on Friday it has received a better commitment from Alphabet Inc.’s Google on proposals to remove third-party cookies and other functions from its Chrome browser.

The Competition and Markets Authority said Google’s revised privacy proposals address its competition concerns, and the regulator is now consulting on these amendments.

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In 2019, Google launched the Privacy Sandbox initiative. This includes proposals to improve online security and address covert tracking technologies. The company says tracking technologies need to be addressed to protect online privacy.

However, the CMA has been investigating Google’s privacy sandbox proposals since the beginning of the year, due to concerns that they could disrupt competition in digital advertising markets, making ad spend even more focused on Google.

Now, Google has offered to employ an independent monitoring trustee, more extensive testing commitments and a more transparent process to take market feedback on privacy sandbox proposals. It also commits not to use Google first-party personal data to track users for the targeting and measurement of ads shown on non-Google websites.

Andrea Coselli, chief executive of CMA, said, “If accepted, the commitments we have received from Google become legally binding, promoting competition in digital markets, online publishers through advertising, etc. ability to protect and protect users’ privacy.”

“These amendments underscore our commitment to ensuring that the changes we make to Chrome will apply to Google’s advertising technology products in the same way as those to any third parties, and that the Privacy Sandbox API is subject to regulatory oversight and Will be designed, developed and implemented with input from the CMA and ICO,” Google said.

The California-based company said it would implement these commitments globally if accepted by the CMA.

Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at [email protected]; @JaimeLlinaresT

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