UK antitrust regulator launches a new investigation into Google Chrome
Initially, Firefox was the first to launch its own privacy protection function, which can isolate ad tracking and tracking scripts to prevent users from being cross-site tracking by ad networks.
Later, both Apple and Microsoft announced that they would follow the Firefox browser to take similar measures, but Google Chrome refused to follow along and developed its own privacy sandbox with less efficacy.
The privacy sandbox is mainly used to prevent third-party scripts from tracking users. In essence, this can be regarded as privacy protection, which is not as powerful as the Firefox browser.
However, such measures taken by Google as the dominant player in the advertising market will also cause criticism. Recently, the Union of British Publishers has submitted an investigation by antitrust regulators.
The privacy sandbox function of Google Chrome will obviously harm the actual interests of publishers. Publishers here mainly refer to websites such as news and information websites.
Such sites rely on online advertising for revenue to maintain operations. If online advertising revenue plummets, it may directly threaten the survival of these publishers.
But banning ad network tracking priority for privacy protection purposes is more important than safeguarding the interests of publishers, so the Google privacy sandbox is actually not a big problem.
However, Google can still track users through Google Chrome, which means that while restricting the tracking capabilities of other ad networks, Google’s own capabilities have not declined.
So on the surface, this seems to be able to protect user privacy, but in fact, it also helps to maintain or even enhance Google’s advertising position in the online advertising market.
In response to the complaint initiated by the European Union, the UK antitrust regulator, the UK Competition and Market Authority has released information that it has formally intervened in this investigation.
The Publishing Alliance accuses Google of abusing its dominant market position to harm the interests of publishing houses.
Because Google is unlikely to change its privacy protection practices because of complaints from publishers, after all, Google Chrome has already faced antitrust lawsuits in the United States.
The end result may be that Google continues to use the privacy sandbox function to protect user privacy while reducing or stopping the collection of user data through Google Chrome to sell advertisements.
For Google, regardless of the results of the investigation, it will inevitably damage its data collection capabilities. Of course, this is not a bad thing for users because the data collected by Google will decrease.