Google’s Chrome browser already accounts for more than half the global market. Now, Google is planning to revolutionise the way cookies work. This will change how companies and advertisers track Chrome’s users.
In a blog post, Chrome’s director of engineering, Justin Schuh, revealed that the company plans to phase out support for third-party cookies “within two years.”
Cookies permit websites to track your activity. Third-party cookies allow other sites other than the one you’re on to track your activity.
Getting rid of them will help internet users better protect their privacy, Schuh said:
“Users are demanding greater privacy — including transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used — and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands.”
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Most of the other popular browsers, like Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari, already have stricter restrictions on internet tracking. Google’s announcement came just a day before Microsoft launched its new Edge browser. The Edge browser is built on Chrome’s code and has a lot more restrictions on cookies.
Google setting standards for digital tracking
Schuh in criticising the approach of some of Chrome’s competitors said:
“Some browsers have reacted to these concerns by blocking third-party cookies, but we believe this has unintended consequences that can negatively impact both users and the web ecosystem.”
He added that it could promote “opaque” and “invasive” tracking techniques.
Google is making an effort to create a set of open standards for digital tracking as announced in August 2019, dubbed Privacy Sandbox. The aim of the project is to improve user privacy while also protecting the businesses of publishers and advertisers.
“Blocking cookies without another way to deliver relevant ads significantly reduces publishers’ primary means of funding, which jeopardizes the future of the vibrant web,” Schuch said at the time.
However, Schuh now says Google is confident it can “sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete.”
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