Google Chrome’s Plan to Restrict Third-Party Cookies – Find Out What’s Changing and What it Means for You

Google is beginning a trial run to eliminate third-party cookies in Chrome, with a 1% test group from January 4th. The company plans to completely remove third-party cookies by the second half of 2024, pending approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. Users selected for the trial will receive a notification when opening Chrome on desktop or Android.

This move is the first step in Google’s effort to phase out third-party cookies. The company aims to default-block these cookies for 1% of Chrome users in the first quarter of 2024. If a user is part of the test group and encounters a site that requires third-party cookies, Chrome will offer the option to temporarily enable them to access the site.

By the third quarter of 2024, Google plans to bid farewell to third-party cookies for all users, pending discussions with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

Google has developed an alternative to third-party cookies called “privacy sandbox,” which processes information on the user’s device to identify their interests and then shares this information with advertisers. This approach aims to deliver personalized ads without tracking the user’s entire browsing history.

While Google initially planned to make the transition away from third-party cookies within two years, the process has faced delays due to regulatory concerns and competition in the online ad business, particularly regarding the use of Federated Learning of Cohorts. Google has postponed its plan in collaboration with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority to address privacy and antitrust issues.

In the meantime, other web browsers like Firefox and Safari have already implemented measures to block third-party cookies, aligning with the increasing focus on privacy and data protection in the online environment.