Advertisers and publishers can heave a sigh of relief as Google delays phasing out of third-party cookies in the second half of 2024. In light of the news, marketers, developers, and publishers will now be able to spend more time developing alternative privacy-preserving ad solutions. In spite of this, the industry feels the heat.
This is the second time Google pushed off the cookie demise. Previously, it extended the deadline to late 2023. However, Anthony Chavez, Google’s VP of the Privacy Sandbox, explained in a blog post that the decision is made based on feedback.
“The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions.”
Chrome plans to extend its Privacy Sandbox API testing timelines ahead of the death of cookies. Chavez said in the blog,
“This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting.
The web developers already have access to these APIs, and the company will roll out the trials beginning in early August.
“The Privacy Sandbox trials will expand to millions of users globally, and we’ll gradually increase the trial population throughout the rest of the year and into 2023. Before users are added into the trials, they will be shown a prompt giving them the option to manage their participation. As the web community tests these APIs, we’ll continue to listen and respond to feedback.”
For those unfamiliar, the Privacy Sandbox is Google’s initiative that replaces third-party cookies as well as cross-site tracking identifiers, fingerprinting, and other covert techniques once privacy-conscious alternatives have been developed.
Global regulators -all eyes on Google
Google’s privacy protocols have been on the radar of the global regulators after the UK’s antitrust regulator, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into the company’s cookieless solutions for the future. While the CMA accepted revised commitments from Google, it pledged not to remove third-party cookies until it was satisfied that its competition concerns had been addressed.
The ad industry’s and CMA’s main concern is that Google should not dominate the digital advertising space if other companies do not have access to third-party cookies. Hence, Google pledged not to give preference to its own adtech after cookie deprecation and work fairly with its competitors.
With the cookie phase-out announcement, companies are already involved in developing alternate solutions like data clean rooms, independent web IDs, and more. This further delay will give them additional time to prepare, test, and adapt new solutions. Brands can utilize this time wisely. They can explore as well as evolve their data and tech strategies to prepare for a cookieless future.