Google won’t kill third-party cookies in Chrome right away. The American company says it needs more time to allow the ecosystem to acclimatize to its new plan.
The death of third-party cookies is taking more and more of Google. While the internet giant, announcing its plan at the very beginning of 2020, said it was giving itself two years to achieve it, things quickly got complicated. From now on, it is no longer in 2022 that the end of third-party cookies in Chrome will occur. Nor in 2023 for that matter. We are now talking about 2024.
The end of cookies in Chrome for 2024
In a stage point given on July 27, 2022 on an official blog, a new calendar. Three new deadlines were decided on this occasion, in order, justifies the group, to extend the experimental phase which is in progress to test the replacement solution for third-party cookies imagined by Google.
- From the beginning of August, the tests around the Privacy Sandbox will be extended to several million Internet users worldwide, then even more until 2023;
- The tools to exploit the Privacy Sandbox (i.e. APIs – application programming interfaces) will be integrated and available in Google Chrome during the third quarter of 2023;
- The phasing out of third-party cookies in Chrome is to start from the second half of 2024.
The Privacy Sandbox is an environment inserted into Google Chrome and in which the American company explores alternatives to third-party cookies in terms of advertising. Because obviously, Google does not intend to give up advertising and personalized ads – it is from this channel that the group derives most of its income.
What Google is trying to do, however, is to find a solution that reconciles its business model while taking into account regulatory developments, particularly in Europe. Legislation imposes an increasingly demanding framework for large groups and any violation may give rise to a sanction, the amount of which may be very high.
It is in the Privacy Sandbox that Google has, for example, explored a first track not to track Internet users directly, FLoC (acronym for Federated Learning of Cohorts). This approach, which was explored for some time, except in Europe, obviously because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ended up being discarded. Too contested.
Google once again delays the end of third-party cookies
Google is once again delaying the phasing out of third-party cookies in Chrome. The browser will now fully support Internet user tracking technology until the second half of 2024, the American giant said on Wednesday.
Google originally committed in early 2021 to ending support for third-party cookies in the Chrome browser in 2022. This commitment came two years after Google began work on its “Privacy sandbox” for Chrome.
The efforts were slow and had a few setbacks along the way.
A “deliberate approach”
Before adding: “The most consistent feedback we have received is the need for time to evaluate and test new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. »
Google has been working on this for years, in response to growing privacy concerns among internet users.
The failure of FloC
Until then, companies relied on third-party cookies and data aggregators to gauge user behavior across multiple domains. However, this has clearly come at the expense of customer privacy. Therefore, companies like Google and Apple have started restricting the use of third-party cookies.
Google’s first attempt at this, FloC, drew fierce opposition from some, wary eyes from others, and very little positive response.
Given this poor reception, Google later said Chrome would continue to support third-party cookies until at least mid-2023.
Then, in January this year, Google Chrome rolled out the Topics API, which aims to track users anonymously while providing advertisers with enough data for interest-based ads.
Beginning in early August, Privacy Sandbox trials will be extended to millions of users worldwide. Google will gradually increase the trial population over the rest of the year and into 2023.
The company expects Privacy Sandbox APIs to be available in Chrome in Q3 2023. After that, the company will begin phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome in the second half of 2024.
Google gives itself another year to block third-party cookies on Chrome
Google postpones the deadline again. First scheduled for 2022, then postponed to 2023, the end of third-party cookies on its Chrome browser will ultimately not occur before mid-2024 in the best case. By leaving more time.
For now, these tests do not seem conclusive since many players in the advertising ecosystem have indicated that they were not yet ready to properly exploit the new Google device. The American giant hopes that 2024 will be the right year to finally draw a line under the era of third-party cookies on Chrome. But for that, Sundar Pichai’s group still has to find the right recipe to offer advertisers, while advertising revenue is the heart of its business model.
Chrome: deletion of cookies postponed to 2024
The web giant had unveiled its Privacy Sandbox initiative in 2019. The goal of the initiative is to combine privacy protection with web experience personalization and ad targeting. And this, thanks to tools that make it possible to do without third-party cookies. These are used to track users across different sites and provide them with “personalized” advertisements.
Concretely, Privacy Sandbox introduces the principle of FLoC, also called “Federated Cohort Learning”. A principle that aims to promote anonymity on the Web, by stopping to target Internet users individually. The Internet user is in fact classified in a group of users, a cohort, with similar interests and behaviors on the Web.
Normally, its implementation was to start in 2022. Last year, following a review by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the US Department of Justice, Google postponed it at the end of fiscal year 2023. Finally, this Wednesday, the company said that it would not end support for third-party cookies until the second half of 2024. Explanation.
The panic following the trial versions
In recent weeks, several trial versions of several Privacy Sandbox application programming interfaces (APIs) have been released. In the process, many professional testers indicated that they needed more time before the deletion of third-party cookies. “The most consistent feedback we’ve received relates to the need for more time to evaluate and test new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deleting third-party cookies in Chrome,” reads Anthony’s blog post. Chavez, vice president of Privacy Sandbox. By definition, an API makes available the data and functionalities of an application. This allows other applications to use them.
Before early next month, Google is expected to expand the availability of its Privacy Sandbox trial to “millions of users worldwide”. The number of users eligible for the test version should then increase until 2024. The company hopes to launch the Privacy Sandbox APIs by the third quarter of 2023