UK regulator accepts updated proposal from Google on browser cookie tracking

Deepak Gupta February 11, 2022
Updated 2022/02/11 at 11:48 AM

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) accepted Google’s latest plan to replace Chrome Browser’s third-party cookies. The regulator said Google had made legally binding commitments to address its concerns that the “Privacy Sandbox” would weaken competition and harm consumers.

In early 2021, the CMA announced that it would investigate Google’s plan to replace third-party cookies with “trust tokens”. He said Google’s plan “could undermine publishers’ ability to generate revenue and undermine competition in digital advertising, strengthening Google’s market power.” He added that he had received complaints from publishers and technology companies who claimed that Google may be “abusing its dominant position”.

While this is an important step, we are under no illusions that our work is done. Now, we’ve moved into a new phase where we’ll keep an eye on Google as it continues to develop these proposals.

The CMA said Google promised to use a “more transparent process than initially proposed.” It will now engage with third parties and publish test results, and must address any issues raised by the CMA or third parties. It will also not remove third-party cookies “until the CMA is satisfied that its competition concerns have been resolved.”

on your own blog post on the subject, Google said it would “design, develop, and implement the Privacy Sandbox with regulatory oversight and input from the CMA and ICO.” He promised to apply the commitments globally, not just the UK, as “we believe they provide a roadmap on how to address privacy and competition concerns in this evolving industry,” Google wrote.

Last year, Google delayed the release of third-party cookies until mid-2023 instead of the originally set 2022 timeline. He admitted at the time that he “needs more time across the ecosystem to get this right.” Google had originally proposed a cookie alternative called “FLoC” (Federated Learning of Cohorts), but announced last month that it was testing a replacement called the Topics API.

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