Google antitrust suit takes aim at Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox

state antimonopoly watchdogs are targeting Google ’ s plans to phase out third-party track cookies, building on a major lawsuit filed last year. The group of 15 attorneys general, led by Texas, updated its complaint about Google yesterday to include a more detail case against the search giant, including raw claims about Google ’ s strategic practice of the Chrome browser. In particular, the new complaint takes draw a bead on at holocene privacy updates to Chrome, which could better protect users ’ personal data while besides entrenching Google ’ mho market position .
Filed in December, the Texas complaint is one of three ongoing antimonopoly cases against Google. That same calendar month, the Colorado lawyer general led a group alleging that the ship’s company stifled competition by manipulating search results. A offprint lawsuit from the Department of Justice is focused on Google ’ s laterality of the world wide web search marketplace and associated ad business .
Privacy vs. antimonopoly
Like the master Texas ailment, Tuesday ’ s update filing primarily focuses on Google ’ s engineering for targeting ads across the vane. The attorneys cosmopolitan argue that Google used its power in search, streaming video recording, and other markets to stamp out autonomous ad platforms, forcing small businesses and media outlets to use its system.

But in the update charge, the states apply this argument to Google ’ s “ Privacy Sandbox ” — a tool that ’ s supposed to replace incursive third-party tracking cookies with a more circumscribed system devised by Google .
“ Google ’ s new system is, in essence, to wall off the integral parcel of the internet that consumers access through Google ’ s Chrome browser, ” the charge reads. Blocking cookies might broadly be a estimable thing — other browsers like Firefox and Safari have already done it. But Chrome dominates the browser market, and it ’ s separate of a much larger Google product suite. The become argues that Google ’ randomness plans would require advertisers to use it as a contact and would make Google ’ s own ad system far more attractive.

For years, Google has been gradually scaling back its practice of tracking cookies, announcing earlier this calendar month that it will not establish an alternate system for tracking users on the web. But critics of the caller — including the Electronic Frontier Foundation — have criticized those efforts as self-serving. now, state regulators seem to be adopting those criticisms and putting new legal imperativeness on Google ’ s efforts to block tracking in Chrome .
“ Google is trying to hide its true intentions behind a pretext of privacy, ” the suit continues. With Privacy Sandbox, “ Google does not actually put a discontinue to user profile or targeted advertising — it puts Google ’ s Chrome browser at the focus on of tracking and targeting. ”

Reached for comment, Google said the modern allegations rested on a mistake of Chrome ’ s privacy features. “ Attorney General Paxton ’ south latest claims mischaracterize many aspects of our business, including the steps we are taking with the Privacy Sandbox enterprise to protect people ’ s privacy as they browse the network, ” a Google representative said. “ These efforts have been welcomed by privacy advocates, advertisers and our own rivals as a step forward in preserving exploiter privacy and protecting free content. We will powerfully defend ourselves from AG Paxton ’ sulfur baseless claims in court. ”

Update 1:50PM ET: Added statement from Google .

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