Advertisement
Engadget
Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

Google just outlined exactly how it's changing ahead of Thursday’s DMA deadline

There are updates to search, privacy and the data collection API.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The deadline for compliance with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) is this Thursday and Google just dropped a document outlining exactly what changes it has made (or will make) to keep up with the law. These 20+ adjustments vary in scope, and impact search users, advertisers and third-party app developers.

One of the big search changes will be the inclusion of price comparison results from external aggregators when looking up things like flights or hotels. For example, searching Google for a one-way to Paris typically pulls up a module called the Google Flights unit — that's the company's own internal pricing aggregator. Competitor aggregators, like Kayak and Tripadvisor have been vocally displeased to have Google stomping around in their backyard for over a decade. In the EU at least, starting Thursday, these sorts of results will now show some results from these aggregators alongside Google's own Flights results.

Android users are getting an easier way to switch out the search engine or browser, so as to not prioritize Google's products above others. These choice screens appear when you set up the device for the first time, in the settings and at various intervals during use. The company's already been doing this since 2021, but now there will be more choice screens to choose from. Google says this option is also coming to desktop Chrome users and iOS users in the near future.

Digital consent for advertising is a major part of the DMA. Google users will now have to opt into sharing data across the company’s various services for the purpose of personalized advertising. This is done via the settings page. Additionally, users may encounter consent banners while browsing, which will ask if they want to link data across Google services.

The DMA requires app stores to offer alternative billing systems for in-app purchases. To comply, Google recently launched user-choice billing (UCB) as an option for developers to offer their own billing systems. This program is expanding to game developers this week. Of course, Android devices could always run third-party apps with their own billing systems, but now they'll be easier to implement.

Google has said that as part of its DMA compliance it will begin to provide advertisers with "some additional data, which is shared in a way that protects user privacy and customers’ commercially-sensitive information." We've reached out to the company for any information on what that data might be. On Thursday, the company will also be launching its Data Portability API so that users can move their data off Google's products more easily.

Of course, Google couldn’t help but drop a bit of shade in its compliance announcement, telling users that “some of the features that we have developed to help people get things done quickly and securely online — like providing recommendations across different products — won't work in the same way anymore.” Daddy corporation knows best.