Google has announced that it will delay plans to phase out third party cookies in its Chrome browser.
The tech giant has set a 2023 deadline for the move, a year later than its original 2022 target.
In the place of cookies, Google to implement its own Privacy Sandbox system. This will still allow websites to show targeted ads while reducing the amount of information users share.
The company cited the complexity of removing cookies and implementing Privacy Sandbox as being behind the delays.
“We believe the web community needs to come together to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web, giving people more transparency and greater control over how their data is used,” said Chrome Privacy Engineering Director Vinay Goel in a statement.
He added that the delays will allow the company to continue discussions with regulators, and also allow time for the advertising industry to migrate their services to the new platform
“And by providing privacy-preserving technology, we as an industry can help ensure that cookies are not replaced with alternative forms of individual tracking, and discourage the rise of covert approaches like fingerprinting,” Goel added.
While similar browsers like Firefox and Safari have already taken moves against third party cookies, Chrome’s market dominance, with almost 65% of global market share, will have a major impact on digital advertising.
As part of its new timeline, Google said that it aims to deploy the technologies by late 2022 to give time for developers to start adopting them. The company can then begin phasing-out cookies over a three-month period, starting in mid-2023 and ending in late 2023.
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Recently, privacy rights groups noyb began a campaign to tackle illegal cookie banners. While companies are obligated under GDPR to offer users the right to reject cookies when visiting a website, many create their banners specifically to lead users to accept cookies.
However, marketing and advertising groups have warned that the loss of cookies will make it difficult to target adverts without them.
Google’s plans to phase out third party cookies was announced back in 2019, with it setting it 2022-target in January 2020. However, websites will still be able to use first party cookies.
However, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation this year against Google over concerns that Privacy Sandbox would give the company a monopoly on digital advertising.
The additional scrutiny and the need to comply with the CMA’s concerns were cited as a factor in the delay, with the timeline being subject to Google’s engagement with the body. The company previously committed to ensuring that Privacy Sandbox would not give Google an advantage over its competitors.