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Google Delays Cookie Phase-Out to Late 2023 Company Reveals ‘New Timeline’ Following Privacy Investigations

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - In The News, SEO

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.

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

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

03/04/2021

As Google prepares to phase out cookies from the Chrome browser next year, its parent company Alphabet Inc. has announced that it will not be developing or using any other web tracking tools going forward.

Instead of replacing third-party cookies with other tracking tools, Google has proposed the option of grouping web users with similar interests while keeping users’ web histories private.

This announcement is a huge blow to the digital marketing industry, and could potentially have long-term repercussions.

Third-party cookies are used by websites to capture web browsing records and build custom profiles on users’ interests in order to serve users with personalized ads.

While cookies are an important tool for marketing professionals, the idea that marketers can track users’ activity without their knowledge or understanding has long been criticized due to privacy concerns.

This led to Google’s big announcement in 2019 that it would stop using third-party cookies with the Chrome browser in response to increased data privacy standards in Europe and the United States.

“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,” said David Temkin, Google’s director of product management in a recent blog post.

“Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products.”

It’s important to note that Google will still continue to track users through its own services, including Google Search and Maps.

Temkin cites advances in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing, and other privacy-preserving technologies as evidence that cookies will no longer be needed for targeted advertising.

“People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising,” he said, “and advertisers don’t need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising.”

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