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Google adapts to the EU: big changes are coming to Android and Chrome

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In 2023, the European Union adopted a new regulation called DMA which regulates digital giants, designated as access controllers. For example, it is this regulation that forces Apple to authorize sideloading on its iOS platform. But Google will also have to adapt to the new EU rules, even if the changes to be made will be smaller.

In a new publication on its blog, the firm discusses a series of measures that it will begin to apply in the coming weeks and which affect the functioning of some of its products, for users in the EU. For example, Google will explicitly ask the user's permission, through a banner, before sharing personal data between two services or applications (like YouTube, Google Maps, etc.).

The user can therefore choose to link the different Google applications on their smartphone, or to use these services independently, without sharing data. However, Google warns that some features may be unavailable or limited if apps are not linked.

Different search results, and more choices on Chrome and Android

To apply the DMA, Google will even modify the results of its search engine, for queries from users looking for hotels, products to buy, etc.

“We will introduce dedicated units including a group of links to comparison sites across the web and query shortcuts at the top of the search page to help users refine their searches, including focusing results only on comparison sites”, explains the firm. “For categories such as hotels, we will also start testing a space dedicated to comparison sites and direct suppliers to view more detailed individual results, including images, ratings and more.”

In addition, certain elements, including Google Flight, will disappear from the search engine results.

Android, Chrome: a change that will please the competition

Otherwise, on Android and Chrome, Google will promote the competition. As a reminder, following a decision by the European Commission in 2018, Google launched a feature called “Choice screen”. This allows, when activating an Android smartphone in the EU, to choose a default search engine from a list offered by Google (which includes Google Search, naturally).

To comply with the DMA, Google will strengthen this mechanism, which gives competitors a chance. When activating a smartphone or tablet in the EU, the Android operating system will also offer to choose a default browser, which will give Google Chrome's competitors a chance. In addition, Google Chrome will offer a list of default search engines to users, on other platforms, such as Windows or iOS.

And to promote the portability of personal data , Google announces the development of a new API that app developers can use to transfer Google user data to their products.

These changes are already significant. But Google thinks it could still announce others to comply with the new European regulation. As a reminder, companies designated by the European Commission have until March to apply all the rules.

  • Google makes important changes to comply with DMA in the EU
  • The firm will ask its users' permission, via a banner, before linking services (transferring data)
  • On Android and Chrome, this one will also give more competitive chances
  • And changes are planned for the search engine results

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116