Google unveils a simpler way for European users to reject cookies

Google is making it easier to reject all cookies on search and YouTube in Europe. These changes will begin in France before expanding to the European Economic Area, the UK and Switzerland. 

Visitors who are signed out or in Incognito Mode will be presented with a choice to either reject or accept all cookies via buttons. A third option offers more options, allows users to customize their choices. 

What it looks like. Here’s a screenshot Google provided of the new look on YouTube.

Why now? French data privacy watchdog CNIL fined 150 million euros Jan. 6. Google was given three months to provide a simple way for users to refuse cookies. Had Google not hit that deadline, the company would have had to pay 100,000 euros per day.

Why we care. This is a big change for Google, which in the past made it difficult by design to opt out of cookies. According to Google’s blog post: “This update meant we needed to re-engineer the way cookies work on Google sites, and to make deep, coordinated changes to critical Google infrastructure. Moreover, we knew that these changes would impact not only Search and YouTube, but also the sites and content creators who use them to help grow their businesses and make a living.” Google thinks it can balance privacy while helping digital businesses grow and thrive. Now it’s time to find out how it will work.

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