Google’s Cookie Crackdown: Chrome Targets Third-Party Cookies for Extinction

What you should know

  • Google has started disabling third-party cookies in Chrome, aiming to enhance user privacy and limit website tracking. This change will be gradually implemented and is expected to be completed by mid-2024.
  • Google has introduced the Privacy Sandbox, an alternative tracking method that maintains targeted advertising while respecting privacy concerns. This new system operates entirely on the user’s device, with all data processing happening locally, and stores user interests for a limited period of three weeks.
  • As third-party cookies are phased out, users can expect changes in website personalization, functionality, and ad targeting. Websites may become less personalized, some features may be disrupted, and new ad-targeting technologies are likely to emerge.
  • While first-party cookies can be useful for remembering user preferences like login status or cart contents, third-party cookies have been criticized for aiding online advertisers in tracking user browsing activities.

Full Story

TL;DR: Google’s taking a step towards user privacy. They’re disabling third-party cookies in Chrome. This move means less tracking by websites. But, it’s not all about privacy. Google’s also introducing something called the Privacy Sandbox. It’s meant to keep targeted advertising alive while respecting privacy. Chrome users, brace yourselves. You’ll start seeing cookie changes soon. By mid-2024, Google plans to get rid of third-party cookies for everyone.

In 2020, Google announced a plan. They wanted to ditch third-party cookies in Chrome. Now, that plan’s becoming a reality. You know that annoying “accept” or “reject” prompt for cookies? It’s on its way out. Gizmodo tells us that Chrome’s already disabled cookies for 1% of its users. That’s about 30 million people. They’re being introduced to something called Tracking Protection. It limits third-party cookies, so websites can’t track users as they browse.

Google’s not stopping there. They plan to roll out Tracking Protection gradually over the next few months. The goal? Disabling third-party cookies for all Chrome users by mid-2024. Websites often rely on third-party cookies for targeted ads and tracking. But Google’s on a mission to change that. They’ve launched the first phase of their cookie-killing spree.

So, what happens to users in this rollout? They see a popup. It introduces Google’s “Tracking Protection”. There’s also a little eyeball logo in the URL bar when tracking protection is on. Users can click on the eyeball to allow specific websites to use cookies. This shift might mess up some site functionalities. But, the end of third-party cookies doesn’t mean tracking’s over. Google’s got a new way to track users. They call it the “Privacy Sandbox”. They say it’s better for privacy.

Wondering what’s different about this new system? It’s less invasive than cookies, according to Google. It operates entirely on the user’s device. All data processing happens locally. Google promises to store users’ interests for only three weeks. So, in short, Chrome tracks your online activity. But, it stores the data on your device. It categorizes you into groups based on your preferences. Websites can ask about your cohort. But, your individual browsing data stays private.

As Chrome phases out third-party cookies, users can expect some changes. Personalization, website functionality, and ad targeting might be different. Websites might become less personalized. Some features might experience disruptions. Contextual targeting will become more common. New ad-targeting technologies will likely emerge.

Quick side note: What’s a cookie? It’s a text file with unique letters and numbers. Websites store it in your browser. First-party cookies, operated by the visited site, can be useful. They remember things like whether you’re logged in or what you’ve added to your cart. Third-party cookies, on the other hand, are notorious. They’re known for spying on users. They help online advertisers track browsing activities.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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