London-Google has promised UK regulators to oversee plans to phase out existing ad tracking technology from the Chrome browser as part of a competitive investigation into technology giants.
UK competition Watchdog is investigating Google’s proposal to remove so-called third-party cookies for concerns about weakening digital advertising competition and establishing the company’s market power.
To address concerns, Google provided a series of commitments on Friday, including giving the Competitive Markets Authority a supervisory role in designing and developing alternative technologies.
“The emergence of high-tech giants like Google has presented competition authorities around the world with new challenges that require a new approach,” said Watchdog CEO Andrea Kosheri.
The Competition and Markets Authority is working with tech companies to “shape their behavior and protect competition for the benefit of consumers,” he said.
The promise discriminates against rivals in favor of “substantial restrictions” on how Google uses and combines individual user data for digital advertising purposes and its advertising business using new technologies. It also includes a pledge not to do so.
If Google’s commitments are accepted, they will be applied globally, the company said in a blog post.
Third-party cookies (code snippets that log user information) are used by businesses to target ads more effectively and to fund free online content such as newspapers. However, it has been a source of long-standing privacy concerns because it can be used to track users across the Internet.
Google has rocked the digital advertising industry with plans to eliminate third-party cookies. This raises concerns that new technologies may leave less room for online advertising rivals.
Google promises to solve advertising privacy probe with UK watchdog
SourceGoogle promises to solve advertising privacy probe with UK watchdog