Google Claims Privacy Sandbox Will Not Hamper Competition

Google has reneged on several of its previous Privacy Sandbox plans, as well as giving the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority a bigger role and oversight of its plan to remove third-party cookies from Chrome.

Google has updated its Privacy Guarantee, among other things. According to a blog post, the new promises “reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that changes made in Chrome are applicable across Google ad tech services as well.”

The CMA and ICO’s revised undertakings also enable them to oversee and guide the development and design of the Privacy Sandbox APIs.

Google’s most recent set of undertakings builds on the firm’s prior statements about how it would phase out tracking cookies on laptops and mobile devices, including Android phones. In June, the CMA launched a market consultation to assess Google’s proposed changes in an effort to ensure fair competition in digital advertising markets.

Google has also revised its pledges, adding a few modifications. To put it another way, the revised promises are intended to assure regulators that Google will not obtain backdoor access to the Privacy Sandbox, which may be used to gain an unfair advantage.

In order to carry out this task, Google has agreed to designate a monitoring trustee approved by the CMA. The new obligations also include more stringent self-preferencing restrictions and additional details on Google’s internal data limitations, which will be overseen by the trustee.

Google also offered to “ensure that the CMA’s position and ongoing process are included in Google’s prominent public announcements.” According to the CMA, another demand is that Google instruct its workers not to make claims to consumers that contradict the promises.

The EU has given Google an extra year to implement its proposed Privacy Budget. In addition, the European Commission has agreed to postpone the implementation of Google’s Privacy Budget plan “to address concerns about Google taking functionality or information away before the full Privacy Sandbox updates.”

The CMA’s supervision period has also been extended by six years “from the date of any decision to accept Google’s modified commitments,” up from 5 years previously.

The CMA is now scheduled to provide input on the expanded set of promises until 5 p.m. on December 17th. If the CMA accepts them, Google will implement these commitments globally, just as it did with the previous list.