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European publishers urge legislators to act against Google

European publisher organisations urge European legislators to limit “the discretionary power of the gatekeeper platforms, safeguard fair competition and the sustainability of press in Europe”. The European Newspaper Publishers´ Association (ENPA) and the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA) say that Google´s phasing out of third party cookies on its service will lead to increasing dominance for the search engine. Google is arguing that not using third-party cookies benefit users privacy.

Google has said it will phase out the third-party cookies and not build new tools to identify individual users but build anonymous categories where participants have similar interests (FLoC) and that this tool instead will be used for targeting advertising.

ENPA and EMMA in a statement say they are greatly concerned about the statement from Google on 3 March concerning its proposed model following the phase-out of third-party cookies on its services.

“Google no longer needs cookies due to its market power. With the help of huge quantities of data collected through its services, inter alia the market leading Chrome browser, Google is able to make much more sophisticated use of personalised advertising than other market players.”

“Following a phase-out of third-party cookies in its Chrome browser, Google proposes its own solution, the Google Privacy Sandbox, and commits to not build other identifiers to track internet users. All this is now perfecting the Privacy Sandbox, which in reality is a “black box”, centralising all data collection within the Chrome browser, that will further erode the transparency of data collection and processing online, and can therefore hardly be described as privacy-friendly.” “What Google is pursuing with FLoC would ultimately lead to a further strengthening of the gatekeeper position of Google’s Chrome browser. While it will no longer be possible for third parties to understand and process data records in a meaningful way, Google would be able to further expand its own first party data monopoly via its various interfaces such as browser profiling.”

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