Google plans to stop selling ads based on individuals’ browsing across multiple websites, a change that could hasten upheaval in the digital advertising industry.
The Alphabet Inc. company said Wednesday that it plans next year to stop using or investing in tracking technologies that uniquely identify web users as they move from site to site across the internet.
The decision, coming from the world’s biggest digital-advertising company, could help push the industry away from the use of such individualized tracking, which has come under increasing criticism from privacy advocates and faces scrutiny from regulators.
Google’s heft means that its move is also likely to stoke a backlash from some competitors in the digital ad business, where many companies rely on tracking individuals to target their ads, measure their effectiveness and stop fraud. Google accounted for 52% of last year’s global digital ad spending of $292 billion, according to Jounce Media, a digital-ad consultancy.