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Google Announces Intention to End Cookie Support Within Two Years

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

What the End of Cookies Could Mean for Advertising and Digital Marketing

It’s hard to imagine a world without cookies (the Internet kind, not chocolate chip), but if all goes according to Google’s plan, we may see a more private Internet in as shortly as two years. According to a recent blog post published to Google’s Chromium Blog, Google has started working towards its goal of making the web a more private and secure place for users, while also still supporting publishers. “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,” said Google. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since back in August, Google had announced its new Privacy Sandbox initiative and a goal of developing a set of open standards to enhance privacy on the web. Now, it appears as Google is making good on its word, by announcing its intention to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome within just two years. In other words, cookies will be gone for good.

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“After initial dialogue with the web community, we are confident that with continued iteration and feedback, privacy-preserving and open-standard mechanisms like the Privacy Sandbox can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete,” said Google. “Once these approaches have addressed the needs of users, publishers, and advertisers, and we have developed the tools to mitigate workarounds, we plan to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome.” This success of this initiative will be dependent on how the development, testing and verification process will play out over the next two years. “We are working actively across the ecosystem so that browsers, publishers, developers, and advertisers have the opportunity to experiment with these new mechanisms, test whether they work well in various situations, and develop supporting implementations, including ad selection and measurement, denial of service (DoS) prevention, anti-spam/fraud, and federated authentication,” said Google.

How This Will Affect the Digital Marketing World

In simple terms, cookies are a tool used within browsers that allow websites to capture and save user data. For nearly three decades, cookies have driven digital advertising, making them an invaluable tool for advertisers and digital marketers.

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And while Safari and Firefox browsers have already made the move to block third-party cookies, Google Chrome’s decision to follow suit represents a major industry shift, as the browser makes up 70% of all desktop Internet usage and 41% of mobile. With so much uncertainty over the ripple effect Google’s decision will have, it’s only natural to feel nervous about the inevitable death of cookies. But that’s not to say that a world without cookies is the end of digital marketing as we know it. For starters, the changes will only affect desktop, so you can breathe a sigh of relief about that. And, Google has also proposed changes that would allow tracking to continue without advertisers being able to access users’ personal information. And if you think about it, the lack of third-party cookies for desktop can actually be beneficial, as it would require you to take a more identity-centric approach. This approach can be highly effective, as it requires you to focus more on the customer’s overall journey, giving you more insight and control. So, while getting rid of cookies will inevitably have an impact on advertising and digital marketing, the future may not be so bleak after all.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google Delays Cookie Phase-Out to Late 2023

06/25/2021

Google’s decision to phase out cookies has caused a lot of controversy and concern – and following regulatory pressure, the search engine company has delayed the elimination of cookies until 2023.

In a blog post published on Thursday, Google’s Privacy Engineering Director Vinay Goel revealed the company’s “new timeline,” indicating that support for cookies would begin to phase out at the end of 2023.

A ‘cookie’ is a digital tool that stores user data on websites. Third-party cookies are often created by advertising companies and track users to bring them targeted ads.

When Google announced the plan to phase out third-party cookies, they argued that the decision would benefit users’ privacy.

“If digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how their personal identity is being used, we risk the future of the free and open web,” wrote David Temkin, Google’s director of product management in a blog post earlier this year.

READ MORE: Google Vows It Will No Longer Use Web Tracking Tool After Cookies are Phased Out

However, the decision was met with backlash from third-party companies and regulators. A blog post from the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued that Google’s replacement for third-party cookies will violate privacy similarly, but in a way that prioritizes Google’s business interests.

Regulatory bodies also raised eyebrows over the decision.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigated the decision this month – and as a result, the window to phase out cookies was delayed from January 2022 to late 2023.

“If the commitments are accepted they become legally binding, promoting competition in digital markets, helping to protect the ability of online publishers to raise money through advertising and safeguarding users’ privacy,” a spokesperson said.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the European Union’s competition commission also investigated the issue.

READ MORE: Dept. of Justice Investigates Google Over Decision to Phase Out Cookies

The decision to delay the removal of cookies won’t cause the debate to die down. Google’s competitors, critics, and regulatory bodies will likely continue to investigate whether or not the move will truly protect users’ privacy, or simply give Google a competitive edge.

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Dept. Of Justice Investigates Google Over Decision to Phase Out Cookies

03/19/2021

When Google announced it would phase out cookies in its Chrome browser last year, many excitedly thought the decision would be good for user privacy. However, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the decision to determine whether it unfairly hurts competitors, Reuters has reported.

In 2020, Google announced that third-party cookies would no longer be tracked in the Chrome browser starting some time within the following two years. As a result, third-party companies would not be able to collect or use users’ data. Some had anticipated this decision, as other browsers like Firefox and Safari already block third-party cookies by default.

Google’s announcement, posted by Chrome Engineering Director Justin Schuh, said “our goal for this open source initiative is to make the web more private and secure for users, while also supporting publishers.”

READ MORE: Google announces it will no longer use web tracking tools after cookies are phased out

The announcement earned a mixed reaction from the web industry: some felt that the decision was fair and inevitable, while others expressed disappointment, saying that the decision would benefit Google while hurting digital companies and rival search engines.

Critics of the decision are not alone: the U.S. Department of Justice is now monitoring the situation to see if Google is acting unfairly. According to insiders who spoke to Reuters, DOJ investigators are checking to see if Google’s decision illegally hurts competitors – specifically by preventing advertisers from tracking users while leaving loopholes for Google to keep gathering data through its own cookies.

It is not yet known if the investigation will lead to legal action being taken. Either way, the outcome will leave a massive imprint on the search industry and on web privacy as a whole.

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