CMA monitors Google’s secure privacy commitments

The long-running feud between UK competition law enforcement and Google may have cooled.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has secured a commitment from Alphabet Inc.’s subsidiary to address competition concerns, the independent supervisor announced on Friday (February 11th).

Under the terms of the agreement, Google agreed to remove third-party cookies from its Chrome browser. Google said the initiative was developed to create online standards for websites to access user information without compromising privacy. Its mission, said Google, is to enable advertising on the web without the use of third-party cookies.

Last year, the CMA launched an investigation into whether Google’s proposal would hurt publishers and give the search giant an even bigger slice of the online advertising pie. At the time, Google announced that it would remove third-party cookies and other features from its Chrome browser.

Read more: UK regulators probe Google Chrome changes over antitrust fears

The Google Privacy Sandbox proposals could have a huge impact on publishers and the digital advertising market, the CMA argued. But Google says the update, with its “Privacy Sandbox” feature, will help users receive relevant ads without tracking users on an individual level.

“The final commitments accepted by the CMA today are the result of extensive investigation and engagement with Google and market participants, including two formal public consultations (hearings), the CMA said. “They address the CMA’s competition concerns and Google also said the commitments would be rolled out globally.”

The agency said it was working with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the agency responsible for enforcing information rights, promoting open public bodies and data privacy to individuals, to oversee the development of Google’s proposals, so that they protect privacy without unduly restricting competition and harming consumers.

The list of commitments can be viewed here.



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