Google faces privacy concerns in UK over cookie replacements

The UK’s privacy regulator is sounding the alarm over Google’s latest cookie replacements, highlighting potential risks to consumer privacy and anonymity.

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The UK’s privacy regulator has expressed concerns about Google’s proposed cookie replacements, stating that they must do more to safeguard consumer privacy in the UK. According to internal documents, Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative, aimed at phasing out third-party cookies and reducing tracking, leaves gaps that could compromise anonymity.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has reportedly drafted a report highlighting the potential for exploitation within Google’s proposed technology. Despite Google’s plans to eliminate third-party cookies by the latter half of 2024, the ICO is pushing for changes to enhance privacy protections.

The ICO’s efforts include engaging with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which reviews Google’s plans amidst concerns about their potential impact on competition in digital advertising. The CMA has pledged to consider the ICO’s recommendations as part of its evaluation process.

In response, a Google spokesperson emphasised ongoing engagement with privacy and competition regulators globally, aiming to find a solution that benefits users and the digital ecosystem. Both the ICO and CMA have yet to comment on the matter.