Citing concerns about privacy, Google announced on Wednesday that it intends to stop selling ads based on users’ browsing across multiple websites, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The decision comes as the use of such individualized tracking has come under mounting criticism from privacy advocates and scrutiny from regulators.
Big tech companies face multiple antitrust probes as smaller digital-ad companies that use cross-site tracking have said Apple and Google use privacy as a pretext for changes that harm competitors.
Given the market power of its ad-buying tools, Google’s plan to stop using or investing in tracking technologies that identify individual web users as they move from site to site could help push the entire industry away from such techniques.
Google accounted for 52% of global digital ad spending of $292 billion in 2020, according to Jounce Media, a digital-ad consultancy.
“If digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how their personal identity is being used, we risk the future of the free and open web,” said David Temkin, the Google product manager leading the change.
Google stressed that its ad-buying tools will instead use new technologies without gathering information about individuals from multiple websites. One such technology studies the browsing habits of users on their own devices and permits advertisers to target aggregated groups of users with similar interests, rather than individual users.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.