Regulatory Oversight Comes to Google’s Privacy Sandbox

To maintain consumer protection and offer more balanced advertising

Google's stated terms and commitments to UK regulators regarding its Privacy Sandbox have officially been accepted, so now it's legally required to follow through.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a formal investigation in January 2022, with Google announcing its commitments about six months later, in June. Since then, the two have been working together, along with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), to address the CMA's concerns. In particular, how Privacy Sandbox could affect competition between advertisers and Google itself.

Google's Privacy Sandbox

Google

Privacy Sandbox's primary commitments are centered around the balancing act of making web browsing more private and secure for its users while also allowing advertisers a fair stake. It intends to support advertisers and their revenue without creating unfair competition between them and its own marketing practices while also offering users more transparency and control.

In accordance with the CMA, Google will continue developing Privacy Sandbox while considering its impact on several different factors, including: relevant advertising to users and its relation to private data and how it plays into privacy laws; publishers' and advertisers' ability to generate income; whether or not it could give Google an unfair advertising advantage; and just how feasible it is for Google to maintain on a technical and monetary level.

Compliance Business Concept

Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images

While the CMA doesn't have authority outside of the UK, Google has stated that it still intends to apply these commitments on a global level to "provide a roadmap for how to address both privacy and competition concerns in this evolving sector."

Now that the commitments have been accepted, Google intends to implement them immediately.

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