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October 26, 2021, Kathmandu

By updating an antitrust lawsuit, Google has teamed up with Facebook to work around Apple’s privacy tools in Safari to continue tracking end-users. The search engine also does everything it can to slow down other regulatory initiatives surrounding privacy.

As specified by Apple Insider, a group of state attorney’s general filed a lawsuit against Google in December 2020, accusing the search engine of “engaging in market collusion to rig auctions.” While the lawsuit primarily focuses on a deal between Google and Facebook to collaborate rather than compete in the online advertising business, an update accuses the two tech powerhouses of attempting to work against apple’s initiatives to help protect the privacy of its users. The amended complaint, filed on October 22 and first reported by the register, expands on the original claim in some ways, revealing additional ways that google may have attempted to violate user privacy.

According to the complaint, Google and Facebook “have been cooperating to improve facebook’s ability to recognize users using browsers with blocked cookies on apple’s safari browser, thus circumventing one big tech company’s efforts to compete by offering users better privacy.

This was caused by the two companies collaborating and integrating their SDKs “so Google can pass Facebook data for user ID cookie matching,” according to the complaint.

They also decided to collaborate to harm publishers by implementing Unified Pricing rules,” the report continued.

Apple has built many privacy safeguards into its products, including Safari, including 2018’s Intelligent Tracking Protection 2.0.

The system required websites to request tracking privileges from users on an opt-in basis, with cookie culling 30 days after the user stops visiting relevant sites and independent tracking of widgets and embeds.

A privacy report in Safari for macOS Big Sur provided users with information on which trackers were present on a website and how many trackers were prevented from profiling the user over 30 days.

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