Google and Facebook have teamed up to beat Apple’s consumer privacy agenda

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Google worked with Facebook to bypass Apple’s Safari privacy tools to continue tracking end users, which is an antitrust update, with the search company also doing everything it could to slow down other privacy-related regulatory initiatives.

A group of state attorneys filed a lawsuit against Google in December 2020, accusing the search company of “participating in a market collusion for equipment auctions.” While the lawsuit mainly focuses on an agreement between Google and Facebook to collaborate in an online advertising business instead of competing, the update accuses the two technology giants of trying to work against Apple’s initiatives to protect the privacy of its users.

Amended appeal, filed October 22, and first reported The Register, extends the original claim in several directions, revealing several ways in which Google may have tried to undermine user privacy.

As part of the complaint, Google and Facebook are said to have “worked together to improve Facebook’s ability to recognize users using blocked cookie browsers, Apple devices and Apple’s Safari browser, thus circumventing one Big Tech company’s efforts to compete with offering users better privacy.

This was apparently prompted by two companies that worked closely together and integrated their SDKs “so that Google could pass on Facebook data to match user ID cookies,” the complaint said. “They also coordinated with each other to harm publishers through the adoption of unified pricing rules.”

Apple has implemented many privacy measures in its products, including Safari, such as the 2018 Intelligent Tracking Protection 2.0. The system required websites to require user-based tracking privileges, with the removal of cookies 30 days after the user ceases. visit relevant pages, along with independent tracking of widgets and embedded content.

The safari privacy report for macOS Big Sur offered users information on which website trackers it includes, as well as tips on how many trackers are prevented from profiling a user over a 30-day period.

In the summer of 2021, Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency, forcing users to decide whether to allow apps to track them or block them from doing so. The initiative has affected many advertising-oriented companies, including Facebook.

The amended complaint also goes further into Jedi, Google’s code name for a system that allowed a search company to offer to send publisher inventory to be sold on multiple exchanges. In reality, Google has reportedly done this so that its own stock market wins, despite higher offers from other stock exchanges, and the system is apparently designed to avoid competition.

An earlier version of the system called “Bernanke” appeared in April, in a report detailing games in the Google market for serving ads by Apple’s ad sales platform.

Google has also apparently tried to “anticipate and reduce the protection of children’s privacy in the regulations proposed by the FTC.” A document prepared in advance for a meeting between Google and other technology companies in August 2019 revealed that there is a need for a search company to “bridle” companies like Microsoft so that they do not compete in terms of privacy.

In an email to the publication, a Google spokesman said “Just because [Texas Attorney General Ken] Paxton says something doesn’t make it true. “

Google also said: “We have been clear about our support for consistent privacy policies around the world. For example, we have been calling on Congress for years to pass a federal privacy law.”

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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