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UK competition regulator gets a say in Google's plan to remove browser cookies

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Tech > UK competition regulator gets a say in Google's plan to remove browser cookies

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GOOGLThe logo of Google Chrome shown on a smartphone.Thomas Trutschel | Photothek via Getty Images

LONDON — Britain’s competition regulator will have a say in Google’s plan to remove third-party browser cookies that track people online.

The Competition and Markets Authority said Friday that it had secured commitments from Google to address concerns about the proposal. The CMA is worried that the plans will harm newspapers and other businesses that rely on personalized ads.

Web cookies are small pieces of code that websites deliver to a visitor’s browser. They can be used to track online activity, such as items added to a shopping basket. Third-party cookies are often added by advertisers to serve people with personalized ads.

Google plans to scrap third-party cookies on its Chrome browser and replace them with an alternative. The company launched an initiative called “Privacy Sandbox” last year, in a bid to address privacy concerns with cookies. The CMA launched a formal probe into the changes in January.

Google committed to involve the CMA and the Information Commissioner’s Office, the U.K.’s privacy watchdog, in the development of its Privacy Sandbox proposals. The company promised to publicly disclose results of any tests of the effectiveness of alternatives, and said