Google's plans to scrap cookies facing major scrutiny

(Image credit: Shutterstock / rvlsoft)

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is reportddlt quizzing advertising industry executives to determine whether Google’s plans to ban tracking cookies in order to protect the privacy of its users, has an element of anti-competitive behavior.

Google initially announced its plans to phase out tracking cookies last year and has since been trying to impress upon privacy advocates that there’s nothing mischievous about the move and that it really is no longer interested in tracking users. 

Even as privacy groups remain skeptical about the move, sources told Reuters that the DoJ investigators are speaking to various individuals and businesses in order to determine if the cookie ban is just another ploy by Google to elbow out its rivals.

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Concerns all around

Google last year announced plans for a new Privacy Sandbox feature as part of its move to help users block tracking cookies. 

It soon attracted the wrath of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which opened an investigation into the mechanism after receiving a number of complaints. One, from a group of newspaper publishers and technology companies, alleges that Google’s new privacy proposals will have a significant negative impact on the online advertising sector.

Reportedly the DoJ’s questions, which may not lead to legal action, are along the same lines as well. Based on Reuters conversations with four anonymous persons, it appears the DoJ is interested to figure out if there are any loopholes in Google’s plans that will allow it to continue to track users while axing similar efforts by other third-parties.

Via: Reuters

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.