Google Plans to Phase-Out Chrome Third Party Cookies On January 4, 2024
Google revealed that, as part of a plan to phase out third-party cookies, which marketers use to track users, it will start testing a new feature on its Chrome browser. From January 4th, the tech giant will begin its much-awaited purging of the internet’s cookies. It will block them for 1% of Chrome users, or roughly 30 million people. Users will notice a small eyeball logo in the URL bar when Tracking Protection is enabled. In the event of disruption, they will be prompted to deactivate Tracking Protection for particular websites. They will also be given the option to disable it altogether. This marks a significant milestone in Google’s Privacy Sandbox project. The initiative seeks to replace cookies with what it claims is a more effective form of tracking for efficient user privacy.
Google finally intends to phase out third-party cookies
In the second half of 2024, Google intends to fully phase out the use of third-party cookies for users. This marks a significant first step in Google’s Privacy Sandbox Initiative. It aims to replace cookies with an alternative tracking mechanism called “Tracking Protection,” which Google assets in a more privacy-oriented manner. The initiative comes nearly four years after third-party cookies were disabled in Firefox and Safari.
However, the timeline is contingent upon resolving antitrust issues brought forth by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United Kingdom. In addition to keeping an eye on the company’s largest revenue stream, advertising, the CMA has been looking into Google’s proposal to stop supporting some cookies in Chrome. This is because the watchdog is concerned it will hinder competition in the digital advertising space.
How were third-party cookies beneficial to advertisers?
Cookies are unique files that let websites and advertisers track a user’s browsing behavior and identify them individually. Advertisers claim that the removal of cookies from the most widely used browsers in the world will restrict their capacity to gather data for customized advertisements and force them to rely more on Google’s user databases. Online organizations have used third-party cookies as their main method of tracking users’ activities for decades. These cookies give websites the ability to work with different businesses, like Google, to track users’ online activities. A significant change in digital tracking tactics is reflected in the impending demise of third-party cookies.
So-called “third-party cookies” have been the main method used by websites and tech companies to track users online for the past 30 years. For example, after a user has added shoes to their cart, they will see online advertisements for those shoes over time. Third-party cookies come into play here. These cookies enable websites to collaborate with numerous businesses, such as Google, to monitor user activity on the internet. Although it is fantastic for businesses, the fact that so many companies can retain user browsing history is terrible for user privacy.
Privacy Sandbox Initiative
Google stated that users can use the symbol to the right of the address bar to temporarily turn cookies back on for 90 days if necessary. It is incase if the website isn’t functioning properly without third-party cookies. If Chrome detects any problems with a website through indicators like repeated page refreshes, it will prompt the marketer to take this action. Chrome continues to track users, and it does so in a manner different from that of Firefox and Safari. However, the majority of users don’t bother switching browsers, and Google’s brand-new Chrome version is at least better for privacy as it discloses less information about the user’s online activities. As part of the Privacy Sandbox Initiative, Chrome users can choose to enable or disable cookie replacements. If users find the idea objectionable, they can still disable these tools through their browser’s settings.
Optional Tool to disable cookies
Google has added a new set of tools to the Chrome browser. These tools allow it to track users’ online activities in place of third-party cookies. Using this new strategy, users’ data is preserved on their devices by grouping them into discrete “Ad Topics.” Websites can request a user’s classified group but will not obtain personal data. This is different from traditional cookie-based tracking techniques. Websites can ask Google which categories users fall into. However, they will not be able to identify users precisely (at least not with cookies).
A strategic move aligning with rising user privacy concerns
Google’s strategic action is in line with an industry-wide trend toward enhancing user privacy. It is a result of increased regulatory scrutiny and consumer demand for stricter protection against unwanted data tracking and profiling. There will be some bugs because this is a significant alteration to the way the internet functions. Cookies are used for much more than just spying. They also store information about user logins, what they have in their carts, and many other useful features. Despite Google’s efforts to identify and remove malicious cookies, there will always be early failures
- Netra is a Dual Masters graduate in International Business and Marketing. She is a content-writing enthusiast and a social media addict. In her downtime, you will find her headbanging to Pop songs from around the world. She is also a sports fanatic and especially loves F1, Volleyball, and Cricket. Her hobbies are baking and watching Anime.
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