Google offers UK watchdog role in browser cookie phase-out

Google vows to stop tracking individual browsing for ads

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San Francisco: On Wednesday, Google pledged to avoid tracking individual online activities when it started implementing a new system for advertising without using so-called “cookies.”

The Internet giant’s widely used Chrome browser will begin testing this month an alternative to tracking method that believes it can improve online privacy while still enabling advertisers to provide relevant information.

“We’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products,” ads privacy and trust product management director David Temkin said in a blog post.

“Advances in aggregation, anonymization, and on-device process and other privacy-preserving technologies offer a clear path to replacing individual identifiers.”

The move comes with Google hammered by critics over user privacy, and increased scrutiny of privacy and protecting people’s data rights.

There are growing concerns about cookie tracking, which has prompted support for Internet rights legislation, such as the GDPR in Europe.

Temkin described the new Google system as “maintaining privacy…while still providing results for advertisers and publishers.”

Safari and Firefox browsers have eliminated third-party cookies, but they are still used in Chrome, the most popular browser in the world.

Chrome accounted for 63 percent of the global browser market last year, according to StatCounter.

Last month, Google unveiled the results of tests showing an alternative to cookies called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) which identifies groups of people with common interests without individualized tracking.

Some businesses have objected to the Google plan claiming it will force more advertisers into its “walled garden.”

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