Google has begun testing and rolling out changes to its products to comply with the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA), which comes into force in March.
These changes will affect how Google shares data across its products and services, its search results, the default search engine and browser options on Android devices, and the portability of user data.
Currently, Google shares data across some of its products and services, such as Gmail, YouTube, and Chrome, to help personalize content and ads. Under the DMA, Google will need to obtain additional consent from users to continue sharing this data. In the coming weeks, European users will see a new consent banner asking them whether they want Google to continue sharing this data. If users choose not to consent, some features may be limited or unavailable.
Google will be introducing dedicated units on its search results page that include links to comparison sites from across the web. Additionally, query shortcuts will be added to the top of the search page to help users refine their searches, including by focusing results on comparison sites. For categories like hotels, Google will also be testing a dedicated space for comparison sites and direct suppliers to show more detailed individual results.
Under the DMA, Google will need to show additional choice screens on Android devices and in its Chrome browser. These screens will inform users about their ability to switch their default search engine or browser.
Data Portability API
Google will be testing a Data Portability API for developers, which will allow users to more easily move their data to third-party apps and services.
Google has been seeking feedback from the European Commission and stakeholders on its changes. While the company supports the DMA's goals of promoting consumer choice and interoperability, it is concerned that some of the rules could reduce the choices available to users.
Google says it will continue to provide updates on its preparations for the DMA in the coming weeks and months.