Google has officially announced plans to gradually eliminate third-party cookies, a key aspect of its Privacy Sandbox initiative.

This phased approach begins with a 1% user testing period early in 2024, leading to a more extensive phase-out in the third quarter of 2024.

Third-party cookies are tracking codes set by websites other than the one you’re currently visiting. These cookies are used primarily for online advertising and tracking user behavior across different sites. They help advertisers create a profile of your interests, leading to more personalized advertising experiences.

However, they can also be used to track your browsing habits and the sites you visit, which leads to a loss of privacy.

Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies, essential for many web functionalities, marks a significant shift in online privacy. This process aims to reduce user tracking across websites while ensuring essential online services remain freely accessible.

Google details the impact and testing

The initial 1% testing phase, set for early 2024, is crucial for identifying and addressing web compatibility issues. Google intends to manage this phase carefully to avoid significantly impacting user experience.

During this period, Google will introduce temporary solutions and user controls for managing temporary exceptions per top-level site in Chrome, aiming to mitigate potential disruptions.

“We’re currently planning for early Jan, i.e. M120 would be the first release that contains the technical capabilities to ramp to 1% (breakage mitigations, quantitative testing),” Johann Hofmann, Senior Software Engineer at Google, noted in a post.

“The holiday freeze is definitely a risk to call out here.”

Once third-party cookies are phased out, advertisers are expected to use Google’s Privacy Sandbox APIs to show advertisements based on a user’s computed interests.

Notably, Firefox and Safari have already stopped default access to third-party cookies.

Google plans to implement a more secure approach and anticipates other browsers will adopt similar strategies.

Despite differences in handling cookies, Google says it strives for interoperability, adhering to privacy and security standards.

It’s important to understand that the move to phase out third-party cookies is a significant change for the web. Google acknowledges the diverse feedback from web developers and is committed to engaging with them.

The goal is to develop privacy-preserving solutions that support a dynamic and open web, balancing strong user protection with essential web functionalities.


Source: bleepingcomputer | By: Mayank Parmar | November 18, 2023 |

To learn more, contact us today!

Roberto Baires