UK CMA to keep ‘close eye’ on Google as it secures final Privacy Sandbox commitments

Gandalf_The_Grey

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The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) has accepted a revised offer from Google of commitments relating to its proposed removal of third-party cookies from the Chrome browser (known as the Privacy Sandbox proposals).

The CMA is working closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to oversee the development of the proposals, so that they protect privacy without unduly restricting competition and harming consumers.

You can read the full list of commitments but they include:
  • Involvement of the CMA and the ICO in the development and testing of the Privacy Sandbox proposals, to ensure they achieve effective outcomes for consumers to protect both competition and privacy;
  • Google will engage in a more transparent process than initially proposed, including engagement with third parties and publishing test results, with the option for the CMA to require Google to address issues raised by the CMA or third parties;
  • Google will not remove third-party cookies until the CMA is satisfied that its competition concerns have been addressed. If the CMA is not satisfied that its competition concerns have been addressed, the CMA may take further action (i.e. re-open its investigation, impose interim measures or proceed to a decision);
  • Commitments to restrict the sharing of data within its ecosystem to ensure that it doesn’t gain an advantage over competitors when third-party cookies are removed; and commitments to not self-preference its advertising services;
  • A Monitoring Trustee will be appointed to work alongside the CMA to ensure the commitments are monitored effectively and Google complies with its obligations. This appointment is expected to be made shortly.
Google has today published a blog post about its obligations under the commitments and the next phase in the development of the Privacy Sandbox.

Google have set out further detail on the process they will follow in engaging with third parties.
 

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