By Jaime Llinares Taboada

 

The U.K. competition watchdog said Friday that it has secured improved commitments from Alphabet Inc.'s Google on proposals to remove third-party cookies and other functions from its Chrome browser.

The Competition and Markets Authority said Google's revised privacy proposals address its competition concerns, and the regulator is now consulting on these modifications.

In 2019, Google launched the Privacy Sandbox initiative. It includes proposals to improve online security and address covert tracking techniques. The company says tracking technologies need to be addressed in order to protect privacy online.

However, the CMA has been investigating Google's Privacy Sandbox proposals since the start of the year due to concerns that they could impede competition in digital advertising markets, causing advertising spending to become even more concentrated on Google.

Now, Google has offered to appoint an independent monitoring trustee, more extensive testing commitments and a more transparent process to take market feedback on the Privacy Sandbox proposals. It has also committed not to use Google first-party personal data to track users for targeting and measurement of ads shown on non-Google websites.

"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.

"These revisions underline our commitment to ensuring that the changes we make in Chrome will apply in the same way to Google's ad tech products as to any third party, and that the Privacy Sandbox APIs will be designed, developed and implemented with regulatory oversight and input from the CMA and the ICO," Google said.

The California-based company said it will apply these commitments globally if accepted by the CMA.

 

Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at jaime.llinares@wsj.com; @JaimeLlinaresT

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 26, 2021 03:19 ET (08:19 GMT)

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