Google and Facebook collaborated to evade Apple’s privacy: antitrust


Google is apparently working with Facebook to undermine user privacy offered by Apple. This, along with many other shocking details, also came out thanks to Google’s antitrust lawsuit. The two companies have reportedly worked together to bypass Apple’s privacy and help Facebook match end users.

Google and Facebook partnership (Jedi Blue)

Apple previously blocked cookies on Apple devices and browsers, which prevented Facebook from collecting data on its users. The company was struggling to match users on Apple devices. However, Google was ready to use Javascript to help Facebook better recognize these users.

The two companies also had an illegal advertising deal (Jedi Blue) that allowed the social media company to appear more in Google Ads. Google did this by setting bids in ad auctions in favor of Facebook. They also had a fallout plan to cover each other up if this information was subject to regulatory review.

Google’s antitrust revelations

Attorneys general who filed the lawsuit also say Facebook lured Google into the deal. However, Google has denied the claims made in the lawsuit. Thanks to the lawsuit, we also obtained complete and unredacted documents related to the company’s shady transactions. The documents revealed many interesting details about the search engine company, such as:

  • Google had a plan called “Project NERA” to turn the web into a walled garden. Internally it was called “Not Owned But Operated”. Don’t forget about forced connections to the Chrome browser.
  • Google exchanges inside information about its advertising exchanges with major technology companies.
  • The search engine company has manipulated the offers behind the backs of the advertisers so that they win on the offers where they are not the highest bidder.
  • Google has worked with Facebook and Microsoft to discourage them from increasing user privacy.
  • Google takes up to 42% of advertising revenue from publishers.
  • In 2015, Google signed an agreement with WhatsApp to give users the option of backing up their messages. Users were tricked into believing that the backups were encrypted. Google knew that users were being misled.
  • Google has launched a dynamic allocation program to maximize publisher revenue.
  • In 2019, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google discussed blocking consumer privacy regulations.
  • Google was concerned that Microsoft would take children’s privacy seriously and try to get it under control.

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