Google announced in 2019 and in 2020 that it had plans to make third-party cookies obsolete on the Internet. The company wanted to drop support for third-party cookies in its Chrome web browser by 2022 and replace it with new technology that it called Privacy Sandbox.
Now, Google announced that it has decided to delay the phasing out of support for third-party cookies to the second half of 2024. Anthony Chavez, VP, Privacy Sandbox announced the decision on July 27 on the company blog.
Google decided to delay the phasing out of third-party cookies support in the company’s Chrome web browser to give developers and organizations more time to evaluate and test Google’s Privacy Sandbox.
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. 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.
Google’s initial replacement for third-party cookies, FLoC, Federated Learning of Cohorts, was met with heavy resistance from organizations worldwide. Browser makers such as Brave or Vivaldi rejected FLoC outright, and Google was forced to go back to the drawing board.
FLoC was Google’s first attempt at shifting tracking from individual users to groups of users. Tracking is used by advertising companies for several purposes, including delivering personalized advertisement to users and obtaining data on purchases made by users. Google came up with Topics, which was not well receive either in privacy-focused communities.
Topics, which is part of the Privacy Sandbox, attempts to associate a limited number of topics with users. Google plans to use the browsing history to come up with these topics, which advertisers then use to display ads to the user. Topics change frequently and the entire process happens locally, according to Google. Google delayed the end of support date for third-party cookies to 2023 at the time.