Google will not develop new ways to track users’ browsing habits for personalized ads. The tech company says it is listening to the increased privacy concerns surrounding this so-called third party cookies.
Consumers and regulators are increasingly critical about the use of these cookies, because many internet users do not realize that their surfing behavior is tracked in this way. Last year, Google announced that it would stop tracking surfing behavior in the Google Chrome browser, which is the most used worldwide.
In a blog on the Google site, David Temkin, who is responsible for, among other things, the privacy surrounding advertisements, writes that since then questions have been received about a possible new way in which Google will soon track surfing behavior for personalized advertising. “Today we clarify that once we stop using third party cookies, we will not develop other methods to track individual users’ browsing habits. Nor will we use this in our products.”
Temkin emphasizes that the tech company is taking the growing concerns seriously. “If online advertising doesn’t adapt to people’s growing concerns about their privacy and how their personal information is used, we risk the future of the free and open Internet.”
According to experts, companies like Google have no choice and must adjust their policies. “Customers are increasingly aware that their data is being used unsolicited,” said Brian Wieser of the GroupM company to AP news agency. “Companies are asking themselves: Do I really want to annoy my customers with messages that evoke a sense of privacy violation? The answer is no.”
Google will continue to monitor user behavior in other ways, such as words used in the search engine and texts in the Gmail email service. This also applies to search terms in Google Maps and YouTube.
On Tuesday, a number of MEPs started a petition against personalized advertisements. They want the European Commission to act against this.