Google to Eat All Third-Party Cookies

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As of January 4th, 1% of Google Chrome users will be testing the company’s “Tracking Protection” feature, a new cookie management feature.

  • This feature is part of the tech giant’s Privacy Sandbox project.
  • The initiative aims to replace third-party cookies, which have been used for decades, with a tracking system within the Chrome browser itself.
  • Same principle, less shared identifiable information.

Starting January 4th, Google will kickstart its ambitious cookie management plan to eliminate third-party cookies, possibly reshaping online advertising and enhancing user privacy.

When you go on a website, they usually ask you to accept their cookies. That is not out of hospitality. Those aren’t the type of cookies you leave out for Santa on a plate. Actually, they are just small pieces of text that a website sends to your browser. The website then remembers information about your visit so they can better tailor your experience, including ads, to your preferences. Talk about a misnomer! I’d like to have a word with whoever named them “cookies.”

Back to Google.

The tech giant announced on December 14th that it’s rolling out its “Tracking Protection” feature to 1% of Chrome users for testing come January 4th. And it’s all part of its Privacy Sandbox project.

In an effort to protect user privacy, the titan aims to replace these third-party cookies with a tracking system that operates within the Chrome browser itself.

This new cookie management feature is already available on Chrome but is currently optional. It categorizes users into “Ads Topics” directly within their browsers. These categories include the likes of “Yoga Fan” or “Young Conservative.” I love being boiled down to an adjective and a noun, don’t you?

I know what you are thinking: How is this any different from the traditional cookies? It’s the same principle but the main difference is that it reveals less identifiable information. and that makes the world’s difference when it comes to a user’s privacy.

Victor Wong, Google’s senior director of product management for Privacy Sandbox, emphasized the company’s commitment to keeping user activities private across the web. “The mission of the Privacy Sandbox team is to ensure privacy across a free and open internet, supporting the broader company mission of making information accessible and useful for everyone,” Wong stated in a recent interview.

Privacy advocates are having a field trip, they are so happy. Meanwhile, regulators are just about fed up with Big Tech antics. The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is keeping a close eye on the new feature to ensure a fair digital advertising landscape.

If the internet was New York, Google would be its most proficient organized crime boss, the way it made all online advertising its business. So, any decision it takes forces all of us to act accordingly. We need to cater to them to be able to meet our numbers, don’t we?

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