Google again postpones the ban on third-party cookies. Chrome will stop using them in two years at the earliest

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Plans are not always kept, and Google hid one important announcement for us, which postpones the ban on accepting third-party cookies. The company is trying to invent technology that will enable limited tracking of users so that the browser can serve targeted advertising, but at the same time it is not unnecessarily large, see e.g. Chrome 103. The whole initiative is collectively called the Privacy Sandbox.

The first notification of blocking came at the beginning of 2020. In simple terms, third-party cookies are mainly used to track your movement across websites. Browsers have been more or less focused on user privacy in recent years, although the most used Chrome will never offer what the competition does in this regard. Its manufacturer is directly dependent on the sale of advertising on the web.

Chrome introduced the first measures against third-party cookies in version 80. Complete the support was supposed to end within two years. Which would therefore be based on the beginning of this year, when the manufacturer only showed the Topics technology that could provide the targeting (and which some small browsers laughed at). Last June, the plan was amended to end third-party cookies in 2023.

Another change. Google needs more time

A possible sense of déjà vu is in order, as the plan changes again. Therefore, the ban on third-party cookies in Chrome did not come, because Google is still testing the successor tracking technology (Privacy Sandbox feature set). It is currently only expanding its testing. Specifically, it means that Chrome 104 on August 2, 2022 begins the testing phase on regular users.

The Privacy Sandbox consists of, among other things, the aforementioned Topics. Starting with Chrome 105, testing will also be started on Android. First of all, he millions of people will participate, not the entire user base. The browser notifies you of possible connections and offers you an environment for managing testing.

The number of browser installations involved will gradually increase until the end of this year and will continue into the following year as well. In the third quarter of 2023, the Privacy Sandbox will be available to everyone. This inevitably means that third-party cookies will not be recommended before this time. And because Google wants to give sites enough time to prepare for it, so elimination process will only start in the second half of 2024.

The logical question is how quickly Chrome will completely reject these cookies. We don’t have an answer to that, and apparently neither does Google today. In any case, it will be a process, so let’s not expect a complete ban overnight. Until then, you can listen to our podcast where we covered small browsers with features you’ll never find in Chrome:

Sources: Chrome Developers blog | The Keyword blog (1, 2)

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