Google Sparks Privacy Concerns with New Tracking Cookie Policy


Internet giant Google has sparked worry among Internet privacy experts with its new announcement about the “cookies” that allow advertisers to track users across the web.

Big Tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and others, use a small snippet of code in their websites called “cookies” that allow them to see where you go on the Internet. They use these snippets of code to see what websites you visit. They also use that code to begin targeting you with ads based on the things you have searched for and the sites you have visited.

Now Google, one of the world’s worst abusers of Internet privacy, has made a change to its early efforts to curb the use of cookies.

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Google had originally promised users that it would create tools to help people limit the reach of cookies. But now the company has sharply pulled back on that plan and has announced it will no longer work to develop tools friendly to Internet users.

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To explain away its decision, last week, Google claimed that blocking cookies would only encourage the rise of more insidious ways of tracking, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Oh, but the same company that is working with the red Chinese to oppress millions of Chinese citizens promises to police itself! Sure. That’s believable.

Google said it was exploring new privacy technologies to enable personalized ads without compromising privacy, in a framework it called the “privacy sandbox.”

As part of that initiative, Google proposed a so-called “privacy budget” that would impose a cap on the amount of data any site could request from a browser that might be used to identify a user.

Google has shown absolutely no evidence that it can be trusted. The company even quietly eliminated its once famous slogan to “do no evil” as it ramped up its cooperation with the dictators in China.

It appears that not many Internet privacy experts are very sanguine about Google’s proclamations.

“Many folks were expecting Google to do something. When major competitors have come out with a much praised user feature, you can imagine they would come out with something that competes with that,” said Jonathan Mayer, an assistant professor of computer science at Princeton University, according to the Journal. “This notion that blocking cookies is bad for privacy is completely disingenuous.”

Experts also discount Google’s claims for why it was reversing its efforts to limit cookies. Google claimed that its partners will lose as much as 52 percent of their revenue if cookies are disabled. But tech experts disagree. According to the paper, Google’s partners would only lose as much as four percent of revenue.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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