An antitrust lawsuit against Google was modified to reflect changes to ad tracking in Chrome. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the multi-state suit, which focuses on Google’s advertising technology, in December. Meanwhile, five other attorneys general (from Alaska, Florida, Montana, Nevada and Puerto Rico) have joined the trial, for a total of 15.
The MAs claim that Google has exploited its dominant positions in the search, video and other market to eliminate small ad networks and effectively force advertisers to use its platform. The updated costume includes a section on Google Privacy sandbox, which partly consists of using anonymized data to serve relevant announcements to large groups. Google plans to block third-party tracking cookies in Chrome by 2022.
The trial accuses Google of hiding “its real intentions behind a pretext of confidentiality” and suggests that the changes place “Google’s Chrome browser at the center of tracking and targeting.” Google publishers are currently using it to track users and target ads ”and says the move would force“ advertisers to turn to Google money otherwise spent on smaller publishers, ”such as local newspapers.
“Attorney General Paxton’s latest allegations misrepresent many aspects of our business, including the steps we are taking with the Privacy Sandbox initiative to protect the privacy of people as they browse the web,” Google told Engadget in a press release. “These efforts have been hailed by privacy advocates, advertisers and our own rivals as a step forward in preserving user privacy and protecting free content. We will stand firm against baseless claims of ‘AG Paxton in court. “
UK too announced an investigation in Privacy Sandbox earlier this year.
Google recently revealed the next phase of its plan to block cookies while supporting its advertising activities. He said he would stop selling ads based on individual browsing history and no longer create tools to track a user’s data on their own products.
Update 03/16 4:44 p.m. ET: Added Google statement.