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Online advertising: Google once again postpones the end of third-party cookies

Having announced its plan to get rid of cookies on its browser in 2020, the company now plans to end it in 2024.

Yet another shift from Google. Initially scheduled for 2022, then postponed to 2023, the end of third-party cookies on the Chrome browser is now scheduled for 2024, as the company announced in a press release on July 27. This project unveiled in 2020 with the Privacy Sandbox initiative aims to better protect user privacy while satisfying the world of digital advertising. Google indeed wishes to develop alternatives to third-party cookies, these small information files saved on the device of an Internet user when he visits a site, which are fundamental for this sector, but worry about confidentiality.

“We worked to refine our design proposals based on input from developers, publishers, marketers and regulators”, says the company. In January, it unveiled a system called Topics to replace cookies. Based on interests, the latter identifies a set of themes based on browsing history, which would not be stored on Google’s servers.

A justified gap

The firm also claimed to have received feedback indicating that it is necessary to have “more time to evaluate and test new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome”. It is for this reason that it chose to extend the testing windows for Privacy Sandbox application programming interfaces (APIs) before removing cookies. If the latter can already be tested by the developers, this will be possible for more users from the beginning of August. According to Google, these APIs should be “generally available” by the third quarter of next year.

The American giant has also indicated that these comments align with its commitment to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). “to ensure the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and that the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions”. This commitment follows the CMA’s investigation in 2021 into concerns that the Privacy Sandbox initiative could lead to “an even greater concentration of ad spend on Google’s ecosystem to the detriment of its competitors”.