German Watchdog Welcomes Google’s “Reject All’ Cookie Plan

Google’s plan to include a “reject all” button on cookie banners after its existing policy violated EU law was welcomed by Hamburg’s top data protection official, who presented his activity report on Thursday (7 April) EURACTIV Germany reports.

Google will likely first introduce such a button in France, which has already imposed fines on the US giant and Facebook, before launching it in Germany.

“Google has told us that they now want to establish this ‘reject all’ button step by step in the European Union, Switzerland and the UK,” Hamburg’s Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Thomas Fuchs said on Wednesday (6 April) during a presentation of his 2021 activity report.

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Fuchs now plans to also approach Facebook, which like Google has its German headquarters in Hamburg – bringing the company under his remit.

Google’s step comes in response to massive criticism and fines. The US giant’s previous argument that consenting to cookies with a single click requires far less effort than rejecting them is not in line with data protection law requirements.

Google said that by 2023 it would give up the use of cookies from third-party providers. Instead, the company is working on Topics API, where no more data will be transferred to third-party providers or Google’s servers.

Europe’s recent changes to privacy policies has brought many of the Big Tech companies that dominate the internet into hot water due to their policies for handling data, with France slapping Google and Facebook with significant fines over its Cookies policies earlier this year, in what may eventually be used as precedent for any upcoming German challenges.

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