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Google to Ditch Third-Party Cookies in Chrome by 2020

Dominique Adams

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Google

Google plans to ‘phase-out’ support for third-party cookies in Chrome within two years. 

Alphabet Inc-owned Google has said it will restrict browser cookies that link to websites they do not operate.

The decision to phase out cookies is part of the company’s plan to increase web browser privacy, and comes amid increasing demand from for greater transparency over how peoples’ data is used.

Justin Schuh, Google’s director of Chrome engineering, said it was “clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands”.

Cookies are small text files that are used by advertisers to track users across the web. The company plans to start implementing measures to restrict cookies by enforcing its new SameSite rules.

Under the new rules, websites will still be allowed to use their own first-party cookies to track users.

The announcement follows the company’s launch of its Privacy Sandbox initiative, revealed in August, which seeks to develop a set of open standards to enhance online privacy.

The Privacy Sandbox solution would enable advertisers to still show users relevant ads while ensuring users share as little information as possible.

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“I’m not going to say that everyone has been on board for all of our proposals,” Schuh said. “But in all corners, some of the proposals have been received very well.

“For the ones that haven’t, we’re open to to alternative solutions as long as they have the kind of privacy and security properties — as long as they have the same kind of predictability that we expect — because we don’t want to put Band-Aid solutions on top of the web. We would rather fix the architecture of the web. We just don’t see any alternative but to fix the architecture of the web.”

A number of other tech giants have also limited third-party cookies from their site. Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla are among the companies to have banned user site-to-site tracking.

Google is currently under investigation by Ireland’s data protection authority over its online advertising business and the practice of real-time bidding for online ads.

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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