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  • Matthew Spencer - Tech Journalist

Google's Privacy Sandbox meeting the UK's Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA)


Google's Privacy Sandbox is quite reputable as its motto lets people browse the web freely without being tracked. The tracking mechanism is required for some web functionality, but it should not collect private information from cookies.



Google lets advertisers use the Privacy Sandbox for personalised ads without monitoring user activity. The British competition regulators accepted the terms Google promised. The cookie-killing Privacy Sandbox is one of the many features that follows regulator impressions without hurting the advertising market.


In their official blog post, Google said the Privacy Sandbox is "giving publishers, creators and other developers the tools they need to build a thriving business." The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), in a statement, reported concerns "that the proposal would cause online advertising spending to become even more concentrated on Google, weakening competition and so harming consumers."


On 26 November 2021, the CMA consulted on modified commitments offered by Google. A consultation period and the estimated date for CMA's consideration came in response. Before that, in October, an additional stage to consider possible modifications was kept into consideration. On which the estimated time needed for correspondence was offered by Google.


The company has been conducting meetings with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). As a result, the ICO set up legally binding commitments to address competitions. Google has been slapped fines by both UK and US regulation watchdogs as it is too huge to compete against. The market made by Google's diverse portfolio can reach more customers than all social media combined.


"With great power comes great responsibility", a line from the Sword of Damocles reflects the exact point. As the company meets the UK regulations with its Privacy Sandbox, the implementation remains initiated. The supervision will also allow regulatory oversight, protect consumers, and support a competitive ad-funded web, in Google's words 'and not favour Google.'


Privacy Sandbox Goals

Here are the primary goals for Google's Privacy Sandbox to respect user's privacy:

  • Supporting publishers and developers the opportunity from the advertisement industry, the value of money in return.

  • Great UI when browsing the web, along with perfectly placed ads.

  • Giving users the power to know private information to control personal data sharing.

  • Not promoting a competitions market regarding the advisement industry.

User ranking cookies will be placed in Google products such as Chrome, YouTube or Google search.

Online advertisement is a must to survive in the digital world as new customers are the soul to keep a service alive. The support from Privacy Sandbox will continue to maintain its fair distance with the CMA.


The UK's competition regulator and Google's Privacy Sandbox is part of an ongoing antitrust investigation. The AdTech giant agreed to abide by a set of commitments to oversight its planned migration from tracking cookies.


In their blog post, Google said that Chrome will comply with the rules and provide the same information to third parties using Privacy Sandbox as CMA wants. So, AdTech seems like it is looking not to get any more tickets from the CMA.


Being a dominant browser, Chrome will have to go through rework for complying with CMA policy. There are a few different browsers out there, among which non-chromium-based Mozilla Firefox has Google's prospected Privacy Budget feature. Even though it has a slight exposure to create a new user tracking mechanism, Microsoft Edge or Safari, on the other hand, will receive CMA regulation via their native platform.


To ensure compliance, "Google will work with the CMA to resolve concerns without delay and consult and update the CMA and the ICO on an ongoing basis." The Monitoring Trustee is placed directly to work with CMA and will be a central point where Google will offer data and non-discrimination comments.

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