Google will start removing third-party cookies on its browser, as the UK’s competition authority accepted a revised commitment relating to the company’s Privacy Sandbox.

Google proposed a third-party cookie ban on Chrome that was intended to come into effect this year, but was postponed to 2023 because of mixed responses to the proposals.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation last year over concerns that the Privacy Sandbox would cause online advertising spending. In fact, the CMA said that Google accepted a number of legally binding commitments relating to the development of the Privacy Sandbox such as more transparent process, engagement with third parties and publishing test results.

Google also agreed not to remove third-party cookies until the CMA is satisfied that its competition concerns have been addressed. CMA said in a statement on Friday, 11 February.

“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.”

The watchdog’s CEO, Andrea Coscelli commented that it is under no illusions that their work is done as it moves into a new phase where it will keep a close eye on Google as it develops company’s proposals.

Google announced the Privacy Sandbox to try balance these concerns. It’s an initiative to create technologies that both protect user privacy and give companies and developers tools for online advertising to replace third-party cookies.

One thing the CMA was concerned, was that the proposals could undermine the ability of online publishers, such as newspapers, to continue to produce good content in the future, with reducing the public’s choice of news sources.

Google is trying to balance privacy concerns with the demands of the AD industry. The company said on Friday that is has been working with the CMA and the Information Commissioner’s Office to address these concerns.

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Nikoleta Yanakieva Editor at DevStyleR International
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