Google Makes More Privacy Sandbox Commitments to UK Government

Google has tightened several commitments to the UK market authority CMA regarding the use of Privacy Sandbox. The authority fears that phasing out tracking cookies in Chrome will harm Google’s competitors and give the tech company an unfair advantage.

By making the commitments concrete, Google has allayed a number of concerns, the CMA wrote on Friday. The tech company already made the promises last June. The British regulator then started a consultation after all, because it received many complaints about Privacy Sandbox from the advertising industry.

For example, Google has now provided more explanation about limiting advertisers’ access to IP addresses and clarifying the restrictions Google imposes on the use of consumer data.

“We believe it is important that Google’s efforts to protect user privacy should not come at the expense of competition,” said CMA Head Andrea Coscelli. “If Google’s commitments are accepted by us, they will become legally binding and promote competition in digital markets. The commitments can also protect users’ privacy.”

The CMA’s consultations on the new commitments will last until December 17. It then decides whether to accept the commitments.

Privacy Sandbox consists of several parts, such as an api that can measure conversion. Google says the goal of that program is to “create a secure personalization environment that protects users’ privacy.” As a result, Google wanted to remove all support for third-party cookies from Chrome and Chromium software by 2022. However, due to the CMA’s investigation and consultations with the advertising industry about the implementation of the system, the introduction has been pushed back to 2023. Parts of Privacy Sandbox, such as FLoC, have already been criticized.