Tech

Google makes it easier to opt out of tracking cookies in Europe after watchdog fines

In the context: While cookie conversations are supposed to help users protect their privacy, companies generally make it harder to opt out of tracking cookies than it is to accept them, as they ultimately benefit their own advertising business. After being fined for doing so earlier this year, Google finally announced a change to its practice.

A few years ago, some laws were passed in the EU requiring websites to ask for user consent before setting optional cookies. While these rules were well-intentioned, they did little to improve privacy, as people generally accepted these cookie dialogs without reading them. European Digital Rights Center claims that over 90% of users click to accept all cookies, but only 3% actually want to use them.

Earlier this year, Google was fined for deliberately creating a confusing user interface. People could easily accept all tracking cookies with a single click, and rejecting them required sifting through various menus.

To fix this, Google is introducing new settings for European users to make it easier to reject tracking cookies. Google’s new cookie dialog has a third option to quickly disable all of these cookies with a single click.

This new menu will soon be available to everyone in Europe who visits Google Search and YouTube without logging out or in incognito mode. It’s available in France right now and will be available later in the rest of the European Economic Area, the UK and Switzerland.

While this is a step in the right direction, most people still don’t want to waste time with annoying cookie pop-ups on every website they visit. That’s why there’s a fitting name browser extension that will get rid of them for you.

The European Parliament is also planning to pass a law that establishes USB-Type C as the standard connection port on most electronic devices, including the iPhone.


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