Google adds "reject all" cookie buttons to appease EU regulators

The Google logo on a smartphone display
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google is introducing new options to reject tracking cookies in Europe after EU regulators found its existing pop-ups to be in violation of its data laws.

The new cookie banners will give 'clear' and 'balanced' choices, the tech giant said, though most Google users might not notice the change.

For anyone using Google Search or YouTube in Europe (while signed out or within the incognito mode), there will be "equal" choices with 'reject all' and 'accept all' buttons on the first screen. Users can also select a "more options" button to customised their level of consent. The buttons have been launched in France and will soon be seen across the rest of the European Economic Area - including the UK and Switzerland.

Google's new "reject all" cookie option

(Image credit: Google Blog)

The use of cookies banners, in general, is far from ideal as it still remains a muddled and frustrating experience for most web users. For Google specifically, many users simply won't see the updated popup as it will only work if they are logged out of Google accounts, as they'll most likely have their settings already stored. In essence, this new banner is largely going to be used by those without a Google account.

The move follows a €150 million fine from the French data protection agency (CNIL), which found Google's cookie banners to have confusing language. Google previously allowed users to accept all tracking cookies with a single click, but it would then direct users through extra steps to "reject all". CNIL said this was unlawful as it forced users into accepting cookies for the benefit of Google's advertising business.

"Based on these conversations and specific direction from France's Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), we have now completed a full redesign of our approach, including changes to the infrastructure we use to handle cookies," Google's product manager of privacy, safety and security, Sammit Adhya said in a blog post.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.