Ad targeting shake-up: Google to work with UK regulators to stop Chrome tracking tech

Jun 15, 2021 | Online advertising

Google delays third-party cookie ban until 2023
The UK Competition and Markets Authority has announced it will take an active role in developing Google’s plans to prevent websites tracking Chrome users.

Google has welcomed the opportunity to work with the UK’s competition authority.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has managed to secure a number of commitments from Google on the development of its alternatives for the replacement of third-party cookies in the Chrome web browser.

The commitments announced by the CMA on Friday, and subject to public comment until July 8 before becoming final, would see Google involve the regulator in the development of the Privacy Sandbox, which is proposed as an alternative to current web tracking technologies.

The CMA has already expressed displeasure on another of Google’s potential alternatives to third-party cookies, known as FLoC, which is currently being tested among a minority of Chrome users, saying it could give Google an edge over rivals.

In a statement responding to the CMA’s announcement, Google’s director of legal, Oliver Bethell, said the company “welcomed the opportunity to engage with a regulator.”

Alex Hazell, Head of EMEA Legal ,Acxiom, said:“We strongly believe both in privacy but also that it should not be used as a way to shore up the already dominant positions of the huge US technology platforms. We therefore welcome today’s news that Google has proposed commitments to the CMA around ensuring the removal of third party cookies from the Chrome browser does not have an unfair knock on effect on competition.

“For the current economic model of the Internet – largely supported by advertising – this is set to be hugely influential. Brands and websites reliant on understanding their website visitor will need to update their technology stacks and strategic data partnerships to build and feature their own independent first-party identity foundation. We look forward to seeing the actual commitments themselves whilst industry is consulted and given a chance to critique them. “

Read the Google statement here

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