Facing pressure and backlash from regulatory bodies, people in the digital ad industry, and competition, Google has decided that they’ll be delaying the phasing out of third-party cookies in their Chrome browser.
Third-party cookies are web browser tech that tracks users for the purposes of ads and marketing, being snippets of code that keep track of user information. They’re used by advertisers to create better-targeted campaigns, which, in turn, they use to help fund free content on the internet like newspapers and blogs. However, they’ve also long been the topic of debate regarding privacy, as they can be used to track users across the internet.
Google moved the deadline for the removal of third-party cookies from the initial plan of January 2022 to sometime in late 2023, announcing the change via a blog post.
Chrome Director of Privacy Engineering Vinay Goel stated that they delayed the change as they realized that they need to move at a more reasonable pace, so that there’s time for public discussion and discourse as to what the right solutions are supposed to be, as well as to give publishers and the ad industry time to make the necessary adjustments.
Google’s reasoning for the retiring of third-party cookies is to improve privacy, the tech giant says, but there has been concern over the fact that their proposals might make fair competition harder. As a result, the EU and British regulators have been looking into it.
As a response, Google has offered the UK’s competition regulation body a role in overseeing the cookie phaseout process. Regardless of what happens moving forward, it’s clear that the ad industry with its many king kong advertising reviews will be shaken up.