In context: While cookie dialogs are supposed to help users protect their privacy, companies usually make it harder to reject tracking cookies than to accept them, as they ultimately benefit their own advertising business. After getting fined for this earlier this year, Google has finally announced a change in its practices.
A few years ago, the EU implemented some laws that required websites to ask for user consent before setting non-essential cookies. While these regulations were well-meant, they didn’t do much to improve privacy as people routinely accepted these cookie dialogues without reading them. The European Center for Digital Rights claims that over 90% of users click to accept all cookies, but only 3% actually want them.
Earlier this year, Google got fined for deliberately designing a confusing user interface. People could easily accept all tracking cookies with one click, while rejecting them required sifting through various menus.
To fix this, Google is introducing new options for European users to reject tracking cookies more easily. Google’s new cookie dialog now has a third option, allowing you to turn down all of these cookies quicker with just a single click.
This new menu will soon appear to anyone in Europe visiting Google Search and YouTube while being signed out or in Incognito Mode. It’s available in France right now, and it’ll become available later on across 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 pesky cookie pop-ups on every website they visit. That’s why there’s an appropriately named browser extension that will get rid of them for you.
The European Parliament is also planning to enact a law that establishes USB-Type C as the standard connection port on most electronic devices, including iPhones.