Google Delays Phasing Out Tracking Cookies in Chrome Until 2025

Google delays third-party cookie phase-out on Chrome until 2025, citing industry feedback and regulatory review, as it works to develop privacy-preserving ad solutions.

Trim Correspondents
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Google Delays Phasing Out Tracking Cookies in Chrome Until 2025

Google Delays Phasing Out Tracking Cookies in Chrome Until 2025

Google has announced that it is postponing the phasing out of third-party tracking cookies in its Chrome browser until early 2025. This marks the third time the company has delayed its self-imposed deadline to drop cookies on Chrome, which was originally planned for 2023.

The decision to postpone the timeline is attributed to ongoing challenges in reconciling divergent feedback from the industry, regulators, and developers. Google cited the need to provide sufficient time for the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to review industry tests and evidence related to the company's Privacy Sandbox initiative, which aims to develop alternative solutions for online targeting and measurement.

The CMA has been working with Google to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox tools can effectively replace the current cookie-based system before the discontinuation takes place. The regulator has raised concerns about the potentially anticompetitive nature of Google's proposals and ordered the company to halt its phase-out of cookies until these issues are addressed.

Why this matters: The delay in phasing out third-party cookies on Chrome has substantial consequences for the digital advertising industry. Cookies have been a crucial tool for advertisers to track user behavior and target ads across websites. Google's move to eliminate them, while aimed at enhancing user privacy, has faced pushback from industry groups and raised questions about the company's market dominance in online advertising.

Despite the delay, many industry experts stress that marketers should not slow down their preparations for a cookie-less future. The third-party cookie is becoming increasingly obsolete and inefficient, and alternative solutions for privacy-preserving addressability and measurement are being developed.

Google remains committed to engaging with the CMA and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to finalize the regulatory process this year. If an agreement can be reached, the company plans to begin the third-party cookie deprecation in Chrome starting in early 2024.

In a statement, Google said, "We remain committed to the Privacy Sandbox initiative and to working with the industry to build solutions that both protect user privacy and support the digital advertising ecosystem." The company will provide an update on the revised timeline for phasing out Chrome's third-party cookies in its Q1 2024 report, scheduled for release on April 26.

Key Takeaways

  • Google delays phasing out third-party cookies on Chrome until early 2025, the third delay.
  • The delay is due to industry, regulator, and developer feedback on Google's Privacy Sandbox initiative.
  • The UK's CMA is reviewing Google's proposals to ensure they effectively replace the cookie-based system.
  • The delay has significant consequences for the digital advertising industry reliant on cookie-based targeting.
  • Google remains committed to developing privacy-preserving solutions and will provide an update in Q1 2024.