Google again delays third-party cookie deprecation

Cookies will now remain in operation on Chrome until late 2024.

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Google has pushed back its self-imposed deadline of the end of 2023 for the deprecation of third-party cookies. It will now “begin” to phase them out in the second half of 2024. “The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome,” wrote Anthony Chavez, VP of Google’s Privacy Sandbox in a blog post.

In June 2021, Google moved the deadline back from 2022 to 2023. In January 2022, it abandoned its highest profile alternative to cookies, FLoC, and turned to targeting by Topics.

“Developers can already test these APIs today, and beginning in early August, the Privacy Sandbox trials will expand to millions of users globally, and we’ll gradually increase the trial population throughout the rest of the year and into 2023,” wrote Chavez. 

The future of addressability. The marketing and advertising industries — and specifically agencies and identity resolution platforms — have spent over two years wrestling with the question of the future of addressable advertising once the last major browser blocks brands’ ability to track and interpret online behavior.

Possible solutions have ranged from enhanced contextual advertising to leveraging third-party data, and a growing number of identity resolution platforms have proposed alternative identifiers and embarked on the fraught path of trying to make them interoperable. The IAB CEO has decried the industries’ incremental and fragmented response as a “slow-motion train wreck.”

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Why we care. Firefox and Safari blocked third-party cookies years ago. Why is the deprecation of cookies in Chrome so important and why is Google struggling to get it done? The answers to those two questions are intertwined. First, Chrome accounts for well over 50% of the global browser market and hosts more than half the world’s internet traffic. Second, Google, unlike Apple, has a massive advertising business (Firefox is owned by a non-profit foundation).

The last thing Google wants is to conjure a catastrophe for advertisers by turning the biggest browser in the world into a black hole. Bad results for brands would ultimately mean damage in some degree to Google’s business model. Apple had no hesitation in turning apps into black holes on the iPhone (sorry, not sorry Facebook). Google has skin in the game; which is why it’s taking its own sweet time.

Dig deeper: The post-cookie path to personalized advertising

About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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