Google Under Investigation for Tightening Privacy Rules

Google Under Investigation for Tightening Privacy Rules

( – The giants of the technology industry have come under increased scrutiny in recent years for their efforts to invade the privacy of platform users. They do this in a variety of ways, most of which are poorly understood by the general public. Given the enormous profitability of this exploitative strategy, commentators are understandably skeptical when Big Tech professes its concern for the safety of users and their data.

Google’s Proposed Changes

Third-party cookies are used to collect user data and originate from a source other than the website the user is visiting. Advertisers love them, as they provide detailed insights on web users. However, Google announced plans to do away with them over a year ago. In the last few months, it’s begun discussions to search out alternatives that would ostensibly offer users greater data protection.

The Investigation

However, not everyone is ready to believe this is the motivation for the proposed change. On Thursday, March 18, Reuters reported that US Justice Department operatives are looking into potential antitrust violations that could arise if Google bans third-party cookies. Smaller advertisers have complained that the removal of third-party cookies would make it more difficult for them to succeed. Because Google would be able to implement its own tracking mechanisms to replace cookies, it could design the new system in such a way that it would secure a larger portion of the advertising market for itself.

Investigators have reportedly been looking at Google’s activities for nearly two years. They have spoken to representatives from a number of sectors, and have considered the company’s activities in the context of a lawsuit filed against it by Texas and other states last year.

One does not have to be a technology guru to understand that a company like Google may not have the best interests of the general public in mind when making sweeping changes like this. The outcome of the Justice Department investigation will, no doubt, be hotly anticipated.

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