Insights Competition & Markets Authority approves appointment of Monitoring Trustee to supervise commitments in relation to Google’s “Privacy Sandbox” browser changes


On 11 February 2022, the CMA published its final decision to accept commitments from Google in relation to its proposals to remove third party cookies on Chrome and develop its Privacy Sandbox tools. As part of these commitments, Google committed to implement the Privacy Sandbox in a way that does not distort competition, which includes:

  • not to use relevant data in specified ways;
  • not to design, develop or implement the Privacy Sandbox in such a way that it favours Google’s own advertising products and services; and
  • not to attempt to circumvent the above commitments.

The CMA has now approved, under paragraph 32(b) of the commitments, the appointment by Google of ING Bank NV as Monitoring Trustee to monitor compliance with the commitments. As part of its mandate, the Monitoring Trustee will:

  • monitor Google’s compliance with the abovementioned provisions;
  • with the CMA’s approval, appoint relevant technical experts as appropriate to support ING Bank’s monitoring responsibilities under the commitments;
  • provide the CMA with written quarterly reports on ING Bank’s assessment of Google’s compliance with the specific provisions in the commitments;
  • propose to Google any necessary measures Google should take in order to make sure that the commitments are complied with; and
  • promptly report in writing to the CMA where ING Bank reasonably suspects that Google has failed to adhere to one or more of the terms of the commitments, whether deliberately, recklessly or inadvertently.

The Monitoring Trustee will also have a role in engaging with other interested stakeholders, where they have questions about the nature and scope of the parts of the commitments which the Monitoring Trustee is supervising. This industry engagement will work alongside the other communication channels that the CMA and Google make available to third parties to engage on the design, development and implementation of Google’s Privacy Sandbox tools.

Over the next few months, the CMA will continue its engagement with Google, in parallel to having regular engagement with ING Bank and the Information Commissioner’s Office as part of its monitoring of Google’s design, development and implementation of the Privacy Sandbox tools. To read the CMA’s decision in full, click here.