Google has pledged to address concerns over how it uses data from its Chrome browser. The search engine giant said it plans to apply more cookie restrictions to improve privacy. Google’s pledge comes on the heels of Britain’s competition regulator’s plan to ban third-party cookies being used by advertisers to track consumers.
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating Google’s plan to cut support for some of cookies in Chrome. The CMA is worried that the company’s plans will impede competition in digital advertising.
Google has always emphasized that its users want more privacy when browsing the web, and do not want to be tracked across websites. Other players in the global digital ad market however, are against Google’s plans. Per Reuters, they said the loss of cookies in Chrome will restrict their ability to collect information for personalizing their ads. This, they claim, will make them dependent on Google’s user database.
“We have always been clear that Google’s efforts to protect users’ privacy cannot come at the cost of reduced competition.
“If accepted, the commitments we have obtained from Google become legally binding, promoting competition in digital markets, helping to protect the ability of online publishers to raise money through advertising and safeguarding users’ privacy,” CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said per Reuters.
In a blog post, Google said it was “determined to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox is developed in a way that works for the entire ecosystem.”
In related news, Apple and Google have been fined by Italy’s competition and market authority [AGCM] for violating the country’s consumer code. Apple and Google were both fined over $11 million apiece by the regulators.
The two tech behemoths incurred the fine for not providing their users with clear enough information on commercial uses of their data. This, according to the regulatory body, violates Italy’s consumer code.
The AGCM also accuses the two American companies of deploying “aggressive” practices to push users to accept the commercial processing. Google and Apple according to TechCrunch, have both said they will appeal the fine.
The AGCM accused Google of omitting vital information at the account creation phase. The regulators said the search engine giant should be providing relevant information to consumers. This, according to the AGCM, will help them decide whether to consent to its use of their data for commercial purposes.
Apple on its part, is accused of failing to immediately provide users with clear information on how consumers’ information is being used commercially when they create an Apple ID or access its digital stores.