Google has improved its commitments on earlier proposals on how to remove third party cookies and other functionalities from its Chrome browser, British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced.
The controversial stopping of third party cookies, used to target advertising on Google’s Chrome browser, and the company’s Sandbox Privacy changes have earlier been postponed until late 2023. Google says that stopping them will improved privacy. Critics say it will make Google’s online advertising dominance even stronger.
CMA says its intervention, and the improved commitments, are designed to ensure that “Google’s proposals can improve privacy without adversely affecting competition, which would be to the detriment of users.”
Among improvements is that Google will provide for a longer duration of 6 years from the date of any decision to accept Google’s modified commitments. Among other improvements are:
- report regularly to the CMA on how Google has taken account of third party views;
- address concerns about Google removing functionality or information before the full Privacy Sandbox changes, including by delaying enforcement of its Privacy Budget proposal, and offering commitments around the introduction of measures to reduce access to IP addresses;
- clarify the internal limits on the data that Google can use;
- provide greater certainty to third parties developing alternative technologies;
- improve the provisions on reporting and compliance, including by appointing a CMA-approved monitoring trustee; and
- provide for a longer duration of 6 years from the date of any decision to accept Google’s modified commitments.
CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said:
“We have always been clear that Google’s efforts to protect user’s privacy cannot come at the cost of reduced competition.”
Google’s William Malcolm, Director, Privacy Legal EMEA and Oliver Bethell Director, Legal, in a blog post say that the commitments, if accepted, will apply globally.
“We continue to appreciate the thoughtful approach and engagement from the CMA and ICO as we develop our Privacy Sandbox proposals. We welcome, and will carefully consider, any comments that people provide during the consultation process”, they write.