Google users in Europe to get a “reject all” cookies button

We’ve all been there. You’re messing around online and come across a link to an interesting piece of content. When you find yourself on the site, you‘re greeted with a box informing you about tracking cookies. You can clearly see an “accept” cookies button, but rejecting cookies is far more complicated, leading you to another confusing menu with myriad options that the average person is too impatient to read through. You’ve probably accepted the cookies out of frustration, even if you didn’t want to. Maybe you clicked off the site altogether without even reading the content.

Good news for European Google users ⁠— the above scenario is about to become a thing of the past! Google recently announced in a blog post that they would be rolling out new cookie choices for users in the European Economic Area, the U.K., and Switzerland. This comes after the search engine giant was fined €150 million by French data protection watchdog CNIL in January this year for making it too confusing for users to reject cookies. This is an issue because EU law dictates that users should only consent to share data freely, with an understanding of what exactly they are consenting to share. CNIL concluded that the lack of a clear option to reject cookies tricks users into giving consent, even when they don’t want to. 

In response to these findings by CNIL and conversations with other regulators across the EU, Google says they have fully redesigned their approach to cookies and have made infrastructure changes. These changes, they say, are more than just adding a new button. Google also says it had to re-engineer the way cookies work on Google sites, though the blog post doesn’t outline what this entails.

So, what will this new cookie menu look like? Behold:

This menu will appear if you visit Google’s search engine or Youtube if you’re signed out of your account or using incognito mode. It does seem to be a lot more understandable than the previous iteration, with terms and conditions clearly laid out and the ability to accept or reject at the bottom of the box. Users can customize their cookie settings by clicking “more options.”

This new cookie box is being rolled out in France but will soon launch in the rest of the European Economic Area, the U.K., and Switzerland.

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