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Technology Google cutting web cookies, ending lucrative tracking tool for advertisers

22:41  14 january  2020
22:41  14 january  2020 Source:   reuters.com

Google Limits Political Ad Targeting, Bans Misleading Info

  Google Limits Political Ad Targeting, Bans Misleading Info Google is severely limiting how political advertisers can target people online, a decision made after weeks of furious debate over how online platforms handle campaign messages. © Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg Pedestrians are reflected in a window looking into a lobby of the Google Inc. offices in New York. The Alphabet Inc. unit said in a blog post on Wednesday it will no longer allow election ads to be targeted based on political affiliation on Google Search, YouTube and across the web.

By Paresh Dave

a close up of a ball: FILE PHOTO: The Google app logo is seen on a smartphone in this illustration© Reuters/Dado Ruvic FILE PHOTO: The Google app logo is seen on a smartphone in this illustration (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google within two years plans to block a common way businesses track online surfers in its Chrome browser, endorsing costly changes to how the Web operates as it tries to satisfy increased privacy demands from users.

Google's plan is to restrict advertising software companies and other organizations from connecting their browser cookies to websites they do not operate, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. (http://bit.ly/2RmTYKK)

Apple made a similar move in 2017 in its Safari browser, but Chrome's global market share is more than three times greater at about 64%, according to tracking company Statcounter.

Gmail's Smart Compose is coming to Google Docs

  Gmail's Smart Compose is coming to Google Docs The automatic predictive text suggestions which Gmail offers users while they compose emails is launching for Google Docs. In 2018, Google launched Smart Compose in Gmail for G Suite users; now, the feature is coming to Google Docs. Smart Compose is a tool that helps users compose emails by intelligently autocompleting the message based on an individual's writing habits. For example, "it can fill in common phrases and relevant addresses, like that of your home and office." Over time, the feature makes suggestions more and more tailored to each person.

Though the two-year goal is new, Google's announcement had been expected within the industry for months. Financial analysts expect minimal effect on Google's own ad business because it gathers data on users in many other ways.

But shares of some rival advertising software companies fell on Tuesday, including Criteo SA by 8% and Trade Desk Inc by 1.4%.

For nearly three decades, cookies placed by relatively unknown companies on nearly every website have fueled advertising on the internet.

Cookies are a tool within browsers that allow website operators to save data about users, so that for example, they can keep a particular user logged into a website over multiple days.

But cookies also have given obscure software vendors, whose technology is used by website operators, a broad window into which webpages a user is visiting. When shared with advertisers, the data enable predictions about which ads the individual would find relevant.

Google’s Limits on Political Ads Have a Loophole Trump Could Tap

  Google’s Limits on Political Ads Have a Loophole Trump Could Tap Google is pulling powerful targeting tools from political advertisers, a move that prompted a sharp rebuke from President Donald Trump’s campaign. Because of the changes outlined last month, campaigns that use Google to place election ads on Google Search, YouTube and other websites can no longer target them to a particular audience based on political affiliation.But the new policy has a loophole that means large swathes of Google ad space on the web can still be highly targeted by candidates and other political groups looking to sway voters during the 2020 election.

Users and regulators have questioned how businesses with access to the browsing data store and share them since the advent of the cookie. But over the last three years, data breaches and new privacy laws in California and Europe have prompted major changes at internet businesses.

Google said its new restriction would not go into effect until alternatives that Google considers more privacy-preserving are viable. Any major transition in Web technology requires significant investment by website operators, and it remains unclear whether more limited data on users would depress online ad prices.

Justin Schuh, a director for Chrome engineering at Google, said initial feedback to proposals it announced in August "gives us confidence that solutions in this space can work."

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Richard Chang)

Google says it will phase out web-tracking 'cookies' .
Google on Tuesday said is making progress in its quest to vanquish third-party "cookies" on its popular browser used to track people's online activities, a focus of many privacy activists. The online giant said its "Sandbox" program would still allow advertisers the ability to deliver targeted messages, while also sparing people from being tracked by snippets of code called "cookies" when they use its Chrome web browser. "We are confident thatThe online giant said its "Sandbox" program would still allow advertisers the ability to deliver targeted messages, while also sparing people from being tracked by snippets of code called "cookies" when they use its Chrome web browser.

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