Q4 2023: Update from CMA & Google on Privacy Sandbox

Posted on Friday 02 February 2024 | IAB UK

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has shared its latest report on Google’s compliance with binding commitments made in relation to Privacy Sandbox, along with a report from Google

With Google now testing ‘Tracking Protection’ on 1% of Chrome users globally, the latest update report from the CMA comes as the planned deprecation of third-party cookies on the browser in H2 2024 draws closer. 

The Q4 2023 report on the implementation of Google’s commitments aims to explain the progress made to date and highlight areas of focus where potential concerns have been raised - including through feedback from wider industry - and how they have been addressed. You can read more detail below. The CMA is gathering views from interested stakeholders on the issues set out in its report. Please email [email protected] by 27 February 2024 to share your views. 

At the same time, the CMA has also published Google’s latest report that sets out the approach it has taken over the last quarter to address any concerns raised by the CMA or other third parties.

What does the CMA’s update say? 

In its latest update, the CMA states: “Based on the available evidence, we consider that from 1 October 2023 to 31 December 2023 (the relevant reporting period), Google has complied with the Commitments. This means that in our view Google has followed the required process set out in the Commitments and is engaging with us to resolve our remaining concerns ahead of third-party cookie deprecation. However, further progress is needed by Google to resolve our competition concerns ahead of deprecation. Any developments in January 2024 will be covered in our next update report.

“In Q1 2024, we will focus on working with Google to resolve the competition concerns we have identified in this report. We are particularly keen on resolving any remaining concerns relating to the design of the Privacy Sandbox tools and to ensure that Google does not use the tools in a way that self-preferences its own advertising services. As part of this, we are also looking to clarify the longer-term governance arrangements for the Privacy Sandbox. We would welcome comments from interested parties on our analysis of the concerns so that we can take these into account in our discussions with Google between now and the Standstill Period.”

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