British antitrust regulatory body, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), announced today that it had received Google’s legal decisions concerning its plans to eliminate third-party cookies from its Chrome Browser. The CMA said that it had accepted Google’s Cookie obsolescence program.
Google’s decision to start phasing out support for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser went public two years ago. According to the company, data control rights and the increased need for users’ privacy are the top reasons for the discontinued support.
Cookies are at the bedrock of digital marketing, with particular applications in cross-platform advertising. However, Google intends to promote its “Privacy Sandbox” technology to aid digital advertising services, replacing the controversial third-party cookies.
The Issues with Google’s Alternative
However, publishers and ad tech companies have shown some reservations concerning Google’s purported “Privacy Sandbox.” The digital marketing professionals complained that Sandbox provides a limited range of information on web users, potentially limiting the effectiveness of their campaigns.
The CMA in January announced that it was investigating Google’s Privacy Sandbox in response to the complaints. The British regulatory body had said that Google’s move could instead strengthen its market power, to the detriment of the market competitiveness and publishers’ digital marketing activities.
Moreover, in June 2022, Google announced its approval for the CMA and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to join its Privacy Sandbox program. Concurrently, the tech giant pledged to disclose the results of any tests on the program’s effectiveness. It had also declared its decision to ensure that no preferential treatment goes to its advertising products or websites.
CMA Gives Google Its “Go-Ahead”
This morning, after consulting with interested third parties the CMA announced that it had accepted Google’s proposal regarding the complaints. Google’s commitment includes a decision to limit data sharing within its organization. That would ensure that its advertising websites do not have special access to third-party cookies. Google responds that it is “delighted” about the CMA’s approval.