The UK competition watchdog has accepted Google’s changes to its privacy sandbox, following a year-long investigation into the tech giant.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched the inquiry in January 2021 over concerns that Google’s privacy sandbox – a set of new web standards that aim to protect people’s privacy more – would cause online advertising to be drawn to Google only, weakening competition.
The CMA also expressed concerns about the sandbox hindering the capacity of online publishers to generate revenue.
Following two formal public consultations, Google has pledged to involve the CMA as well as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the testing of privacy sandbox proposals, committing to engage in more transparent processes and not to remove third-party cookies until the CMA is satisfied.
“The commitments we have obtained from Google will promote competition, help to protect the ability of online publishers to raise money through advertising and safeguard users’ privacy,” said CMA’s chief executive Andrea Coscelli.
“While this is an important step, we are under no illusions that our work is done. We now move into a new phase where we will keep a close eye on Google as it continues to develop these proposals.”