Google's plan to replace third-party cookies with its new Privacy Sandbox standards is one step closer to becoming a reality after receiving approval from the UK's competition regulator.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has formally accepted the search giant's commitments regarding how it will develop its new standards in such a way that they don't impede competition or unfairly benefit Google's advertising business.

In a press release, chief executive at the CMA, Andrea Coscelli explained that while the regulator has approved Google's new set of standards, it will still be keeping a 'close eye' on the search giant as it develops these proposals, saying:

“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. While this is an important step, we are under no illusions that our work is done. We now move into a new phase where we will keep a close eye on Google as it continues to develop these proposals. We will engage with all market participants in this process, in order to ensure that Google is taking account of concerns and suggestions raised.”

Privacy Sandbox proposals

After abandoning its original FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) proposal, Google recently introduced a substitute called Google Topics that will serve ads to users based on broad interest categories as opposed to using granular and often more sensitive data collected by third-party cookies.

Now that the CMA has formally accepted the company's commitments, they have become legally binding and Google has said that it will apply them globally. As part of these commitments, the company will develop its Privacy Sandbox proposals in a way that's transparent and it will also publish test results.

Google has also confirmed that it won't remove third-party cookies from Chrome until the CMA gives the all clear that its new alternatives don't raise any competition concerns. At the same time, the search giant won't share data within its business in a way that is unfair and gives it an edge over its competitors.

There is still some time left until Google phases out third-party cookies in Chrome as the company plans to put its Privacy Sandbox standards in place by the end of next year. However, other browsers such as Firefox and Safari have already decided to block third-party cookies outright.

Via The Verge

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