Google rolls out less confusing cookie pop-ups after EU intervention

cookies
(Image credit: Shutterstock / New Africa)

Anyone who regularly browses the web in Europe will have clicked through thousands of cookie consent windows.

Traditionally, Google and others have made it difficult to opt-out of cookie-based tracking, by obscuring the option to reject cookies behind multiple layers of windows and toggles.

After a slap on the wrist (opens in new tab) from regulators, however, Google is now adding a "reject all" button to its cookie consent pop-ups, starting in France.

Google cookies

The new Google cookie consent pop-up on desktop.  (Image credit: Google)

"In the past year, regulators who interpret European laws requiring these banners, including data protection authorities in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK, have updated their guidance for compliance," said Google. 

"We’re committed to meeting the standards of that updated guidance and have been working with a number of these authorities." 

Google describes the changes as a "full redesign" and not "just a new button" and it's easy to see why: a lot has changed about how Google deals with tracking consent.

The company said it spent considerable time reworking its approach to cookies for the new pop-up, because of complexities that might not be apparent to the average web user.

"This update meant we needed to re-engineer the way cookies work on Google sites, and to make deep, coordinated changes to critical Google infrastructure," the company explained.

"Moreover, we knew that these changes would impact not only Search and YouTube, but also the sites and content creators who use them to help grow their businesses and make a living."

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.