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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Google proposes new commitments on browser cookies – UK competition regulator

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LONDON -Britain’s competition regulator said on Friday it had secured improved commitments from Alphabet’s Google on changes to user-tracking cookies in its browser, including the U.S. tech giant extending the time any pledges would last to six years.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating Google’s plan to cut support for some cookies in Chrome because it is concerned the move could impede competition in digital advertising.

Google proposed making changes to its plan, which is called “privacy sandbox”, in June, including allowing the CMA an oversight role.

Google has said the commitments, if accepted, will apply globally.

The CMA said Google had made new pledges to address some remaining concerns, including offering commitments around reducing access to IP addresses and clarifying internal limits on the data that it could use.

CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said: “We have always been clear that Google’s efforts to protect users privacy cannot come at the cost of reduced competition.”

He added: “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.”

Google said in a blog that is was “determined to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox is developed in a way that works for the entire ecosystem”.

The CMA said it would consult on the new commitments until on 17 December.

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